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Ugonna Onyenso declares for the NBA Draft, hires an agent

Jack PIlgrimby:Jack Pilgrim04/15/24

Of all the player decisions we’ve seen thus far, this is certainly one of them.

Ugonna Onyenso, the No. 47 overall prospect in ESPN’s list of best available draft prospects, has officially decided to turn pro. The sophomore center has entered the NBA Draft and will hire an agent, turning his back on college basketball while trying his luck in the league.

“I’m ready to go to the next level,” Onyenso told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “I’m not thinking about coming back to play college basketball. I’m 100% focused on the NBA.”

Onyenso averaged 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 19 minutes per contest this past season. Standing 7-feet and 247 pounds, he hopes to show NBA teams he’s more than what he was able to show at Kentucky these past two years.

“I want the NBA to know that I am a big that can shoot the ball,” he said. “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. My goal is to get better these next couple of months, and be confident in everything I need to do in this process.”

The native of Nigeria says he’s not officially forgoing his remaining eligibility, but has no plans of entering the portal or returning to Kentucky. He spoke with new UK coach Mark Pope, but his plan is to keep his name in the draft.

“As of today, I don’t plan on entering the transfer portal,” Onyenso said. “I feel like I am ready for the NBA. I haven’t met with Mark Pope, I only spoke on the phone with him three days ago. I’m ready to go to the next level and show what I can do, but I’m not closing any doors.”

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