Scout/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats' Bam Adebayo opts to hire agent, remain in NBA Draft

Freshman center reconsiders, closes door on return to UK.

Bam Adebayo has played his last game at Kentucky.

The freshman center reconsidered his decision to enter the NBA Draft process without an agent, opting to hire representation and close the door on a possible return to the Wildcats.

“After talking with Coach Cal, the staff and my family, I have decided it’s in my best interest to remain in the draft,” Adebayo said Tuesday in a statement released by UK.

“This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one. 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."

A 6-foot-10 post player from Little Washington, N.C., Adebayo is the fifth UK underclassman to hire an agent, joining Isaiah Briscoe, Isaac Humphries, De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Hamidou Diallo has also entered the draft without playing a game for the Cats, but does not currently plan to hire an agent. The redshirt freshman guard could possibly return if he withdraws by the May 24 deadline.

Adebayo's draft status remains unclear. He's currently listed anywhere from No. 19 to No. 31 in the latest mocks by ESPN, DraftExpress.com, and NBADraft.net, indicating there's a solid chance he will go in the first round. All 18 players in the Calipari era who declared for the NBA Draft after one season at UK were selected in the first round, which ensures a guaranteed three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

As a freshman at UK, Adebayo averaged 13.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, earning second-team All-SEC honors.


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