Cockburn declares for NBA Draft


WCIA — Illinois center Kofi Cockburn is entering the 2020 NBA Draft. The 7-foot, 290 pound Big Ten Freshman of the Year posted his intent on his Instagram Tuesday afternoon.

“Ever since I began playing basketball a fire has been lit inside me which I knew I had to pursue to the fullest extent, with that being said, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft,” Cockburn posted.

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Beyond blessed 🦍🙏🏾 #FMF #IGIPMT

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Cockburn did not say in his post whether he’s keeping an option open to return to Illinois next season or hiring an agent. NCAA rules allow the Jamaican native to hire an agent and still return for his sophomore season. As of now, early entrants have until April 26th to declare for the draft, and can withdraw at any time up until June 3, still keeping their college eligibility. The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is on June 15 at 4:00 p.m. with the draft set for June 25. That could all change if the league decides to postpone its combine or draft.

“Truthfully I want to be a one-and-done player,” Cockburn told me during an interview at Oak Hill Academy last April. “I’ve heard from so many people and like I told you, I have a great support system. This is what Coach Antigua’s has been telling me, ‘Come in, not worrying about being a one-and-done. Come in knowing that you’re going to work hard, you’re going to play your best at all times. You’re going to give 100 percent and everything will come into place.'”

Cockburn was second on Illinois in scoring, averaging 13.3 points and a team high 8.8 rebounds per game as a freshman.

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