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HomeNBANewsUgonna Onyenso Withdraws from 2024 NBA Draft: A Closer Look

Ugonna Onyenso Withdraws from 2024 NBA Draft: A Closer Look

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Former Kentucky forward Ugonna Onyenso has decided to withdraw from the 2024 NBA Draft, according to his agent, Daniel Hazan, who spoke with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Onyenso, who played two seasons at Kentucky, is currently in the NCAA Transfer Portal. His former coach, John Calipari, has since moved to Arkansas.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the development via agent Daniel Hazan, stating Onenyso will now focus on finding a new college program for his junior season ( [@DraftExpress tweet] ).

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The Tweet reads: “Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress NEWS: Ugonna Onenyso will withdraw from the 2024 NBA Draft, his agent Daniel Hazan told ESPN. The former Kentucky big man is in the NCAA transfer portal and will now shift his attention to determining where to play his junior season.”

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Onenyso, entered the draft after a sophomore season that showcased his potential but also raised questions about his overall readiness for the NBA. While averaging a respectable 8.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, his efficiency around the rim and decision-making on offense were areas seen as needing improvement.

Ugonna Onyenso: Background and Stats

Ugonna Onyenso Withdraws from 2024 NBA Draft: A Closer Look - THE SPORTS ROOM

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Ugonna Onyenso, a native of Nigeria, made a name for himself during his high school days at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut. As a four-star recruit in the Class of 2022, he was ranked fifth among centers and 31st overall in his recruiting cycle. Ugonna Onyenso reclassified to the Class of 2022, making him one of the youngest players with multiple years of college experience at just 19 years old.

During his time at Kentucky, Ugonna Onyenso played in 40 games, with all 14 of his starts coming in the 2023-24 season. His defensive prowess stood out, as he averaged an impressive 2.8 blocks and 0.3 steals per game. Offensively, he contributed 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.2 assists per game.

The Decision

Ugonna Onyenso’s decision to withdraw from the NBA Draft indicates his commitment to playing another year of college basketball. He expressed his readiness for the next level, stating, “I’m not thinking about coming back to play college basketball. I’m 100% focused on the NBA.” However, circumstances have led him to reconsider, and he now looks to determine where he will play his junior season.

For Kentucky, losing Ugonna Onyenso means adjusting their roster for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, John Calipari’s new team at Arkansas gains a talented big man who can make an impact on both ends of the court.

 

ALSO READ: Klay Thompson’s Tribute Hike: Honoring Bill Walton’s Legacy

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