LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Kentucky basketball forward Bam Adebayo has announced plans to submit his name for the 2017 NBA Draft -- but he does not plan to hire an agent.
That's according to a news release from Eric Lindsey, associate director for media relations at UK.
As long as Adebayo doesn't hire an agent, he has until May 24 (10 days after the NBA Draft Combine) to make a final decision on whether to remain in the draft or return to UK.
"This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one," Adebayo said in the release. "It was everything I wanted when I decided to come to Kentucky. It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be a better man on and off the court. I have improved so much since the beginning of the season thanks to the hard work of the coaching staff. They helped me with every step of the process along the way and they never gave up on me."
Adebayo says he feels like he's making the right step, but says he wants to be "absolutely sure" he's making the right decision. "No matter what happens, it’s been an unbelievable ride.”
Adebayo is the third underclassman from the 2016-17 Wildcats to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft. Guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk have both announced they are entering the draft and plan to sign with agents, which would effectively end their collegiate eligibility.
“Bam was our hardest worker this season,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “You’re talking about a player who can guard all five positions, has more perimeter skills than people know, and someone with size and a physique that immediately translates to that league. Bam is a great kid with a ton of upside. Should he decide to stay in the draft, he will be an outstanding four man in the NBA. Every organization needs character and Bam is a high-character kid who only cares about winning.”
The 6-foot-10 freshman from Little Washington, North Carolina, was arguably UK’s most effective player over the last month and a half, averaging a double-double during the Wildcats’ late-season 14-game winning streak.
The NBA Draft Combine is set for May 9-14 in Chicago. Players who have not hired an agent will have 10 days following that showcase opportunity to make a final decision as to whether to forgo their athletic eligibility or return to school.
Since Calipari joined the Wildcat program for the 2009-10 season, UK has produced 28 NBA Draft picks over seven seasons, more than double any other school. Included in the 28 are 21 first-round selections, three No. 1 overall picks, 11 top-10 selections and 14 lottery picks.
Of the 18 players in the Calipari era who declared for the NBA Draft after one season at Kentucky, all 18 were drafted in the first round.
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