Scout/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats' De'Aaron Fox declares for NBA Draft, will hire agent

Freshman point guard projected to be a top five pick.

Kentucky freshman point guard De'Aaron Fox announced Monday that he plans to enter the NBA Draft and will hire an agent, ending his career with the Wildcats.

The decision did not come as a surprise. Many analysts have the Houston native projected as a top five pick in the June 22 draft.

“I think I’ve had a pretty good freshman season through the guidance of our coaching staff, and I think it’s time for me to live out my dream," Fox said in a statement released by UK. "... I want to thank the Big Blue Nation. There is no other fan base like you in the country. I’ll miss playing in front of you, but I know you’ll continue to support me at the next level.”

Fox helped lead the Wildcats to a 32-6 record and both the SEC regular-season and tournament championships this season. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

Among his many achievements this season, Fox recorded only the second triple-double in UK basketball history and the first since 1988 with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Arizona State. He also had a career-high 39 points -- the highest scoring total by a freshman in NCAA Tournament history -- in the Wildcats' Sweet 16 victory over UCLA. 

“De’Aaron’s speed, length and ability to pick up defensively from 94 feet set him apart from his peers,” Calipari said. “De’Aaron came in here focused from day one, and to see his improvement from the beginning of the season to the end was special. What you saw from De’Aaron over the last month and a half of the season I think is what NBA teams will get for the future.”

Players have until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23 to submit their names for the 2017 NBA Draft. Fellow UK freshmen Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo are expected to join Fox in making the jump. The draft combine is slated for May 9-14 in Chicago.

Since Calipari took over as head coach during the 2009-10 season, UK has produced 28 NBA Draft picks, including 21 first-round selections.


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