Former Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe declares for NBA draft
Kentucky senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe, the 2021-22 consensus national player of the year, declared for the NBA draft on Friday while maintaining his college eligibility.
Tshiebwe could still return to Kentucky and use the extra fifth year of NCAA eligibility granted to all athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I would like to thank my family and everyone who has supported me over the years while working towards my dream," Tshiebwe wrote in an Instagram post. "I would also like to thank Coach (John) Calipari and the coaching staff for believing in a kid from the Congo, as well as my teammates for standing beside me and fighting every day.
"At this time I feel as though it is best for me to declare for the NBA draft while maintaining my college eligibility. ... Only God knows what my future holds, but until then it's time to get to work!"
The 6-foot-9 Tshiebwe swept the six awards given to the player of the year in college basketball in 2021-22, when he averaged 17.4 points, 15.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game in his first season with the Wildcats.
In 2022-23, he followed that up with averages of 16.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest. In 107 career games (105 starts) split between West Virginia and Kentucky, Tshiebwe posted 14.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
The 23-year-old is being projected as no higher than a second-round pick in mock drafts.
--Field Level Media
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