Kentucky Freshman Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander To Declare For 2018 NBA Draft
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to Enter NBA Draft
The 19-year-old Canadian won SEC Tournament MVP honors in March. Gilgeous-Alexander began the season as the ninth-highest rated player on the Wildcats’ roster. He is ranked 12th on ESPN’s top 100 prospects list.
“After consulting with my coaches at Kentucky and those involved with my process, I have weighed the pros and cons, and I would like to renounce my college eligibility in order to enter the 2018 NBA Draft,” Gilgeous-Alexander told ESPN via text. “I would firstly like to thank God, who made all of this possible and has covered me in his mercies from day one. I have worked really hard to get to this point, and because of the sacrifices and support of others, I am closer to my dreams.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari lauded Gilgeous-Alexander in multiple tweets on Monday.
.@shaiglalex’s development is a story I’ll tell our players for the rest of my career. When we talk about building your own confidence and conquering yourself, Shai is the perfect example. https://t.co/OJECZyNkf4
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 9, 2018
The 6-foot-6 freshman averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 37 games. He shot 40 percent from three and 82 percent from the free throw line in his only year with Calipari’s squad, according to ESPN. However, he only attempted 1.5 3-pointers per game.
The Wildcats won all three of their SEC Tournament games and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky — a No. 5-seed in the latter tourney — lost to Kansas State 61-58 in that third-round matchup.
“I decided to enter the NBA draft because I believe I am ready for this next step,” Gilgeous-Alexander told ESPN. “I’ve worked hard, weighed the pros and cons, conducted my research, and I’m ready. I am and will continue to work hard at my craft every day, and I’m ready for the challenge of the NBA.”
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