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Illinois center Kofi Cockburn is declaring for the NBA draft, he announced with a post on his social media accounts Sunday.
Cockburn, a 7-foot sophomore, still could return to Illinois as long as he doesn’t hire an agent or hires one on a list approved by the NCAA.
A second-team All-America selection this past season, Cockburn also considered turning pro last year but returned for a dynamic season. He averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds to help Illinois win the Big Ten Tournament and secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Cockburn is not listed in most mock drafts. The NBA draft is scheduled for July 29, and the withdrawal deadline for early entries is July 19.
“Basketball took me places that I wouldn’t dare dream of as a boy,” Cockburn’s social media post read in part. “It taught me lessons in life. The NBA has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I am ready to go to the next level and see what’s in store for me. This journey is really special to me, and I appreciate everyone who played a part in getting me here. 21 out.”
Illinois All-America guard Ayo Dosunmu and frontcourt reserve Giorgi Bezhanishvili declared for the draft earlier this month. The Illini added an experienced big man last week in Florida transfer Omar Payne.