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Kentucky transfer Ugonna Onyenso withdraws from NBA Draft

Jack PIlgrimby:Jack Pilgrim05/29/24

Kentucky center Ugonna Onyenso will not be taking his talents to the NBA. Instead, he’ll be withdrawing from the draft and exploring his transfer options ahead of his junior campaign as a college basketball player.

The 7-foot, 247-pound big man originally entered the draft on April 15 with hopes of keeping his name in the field, saying he was “ready to go to the next level” and “100% focused on the NBA” going into the process.

“I want the NBA to know that I am a big that can shoot the ball,” Onyenso told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony at the time. “I am not just a defensive player. It’s not only about blocking shots with me. I did what I needed to do to help the team, but I don’t think anyone saw what I am capable of doing. I am excited to show people that . My ability to shoot, put the ball on the floor and create for myself.”

A month and change later, Onyenso has officially pulled his name out of the draft and “will now shift his attention to determining where to play his junior season.

Coming in as a four-star, top-30 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, Onyenso averaged 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 19 minutes per contest this past season in his second and final year at Kentucky. That came after putting up averages of 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks as a freshman. He originally signed with the Wildcats over the likes of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Texas Tech, LSU, Ole Miss, Providence, Seton Hall and Georgetown, among others.

Where could he be headed now? On3’s Jamie Shaw reported after the NBA Draft Combine the 7-footer’s recruitment will come down to Louisville, Alabama, Kansas State and UNC with the Wildcats and Tar Heels seen as the favorites to land his commitment.

Either way, Onyenso’s time in Lexington has officially come to a close. We’ll see where he lands in the coming days.

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