Ayo Dosunmu announces return for third season with Illini



Sophomore Ayo Dosunmu stands on Lou Henson Court during Illinois’ game against Purdue at the State Farm Center on Sunday. Illinois beat Purdue 63-37. Photo by Jonathan Bonaguro.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

Year 3. The phrase every Illini basketball fan has dreamed of since the 2019 college basketball season was cut short. Ayo Dosunmu, who declared for the NBA draft this spring announced his withdrawal from the draft and his return to Illinois on Twitter with a video on Friday night. Dosunmu had previously indicated he was 99% in on striving for the NBA this year, but his plans have seemed to change in the past couple of months.

Last Sunday, Dosunmu had confirmed on Twitter he had received an invite to the NBA combine; however, the NBA made it clear it was uncertain the combine would even happen and in many draft projections, Dosunmu was a borderline second-round pick at best. Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Illini center Kofi Cockburn has still not indicated whether he will return to school or pursue the NBA.

Last season, Dosunmu led the 21-10 Illini by averaging 16.6 points per game while shooting 48.4% from the field. Dosunmu also averaged 3.3 assists per game while shooting 29.6% from three-point range. Dosunmu was Illinois’ certified closer, icing at least six games for his team. With Dosunmu’s return, Illinois will gain its most valuable player and leader.

Dosunmu ended his video on Twitter by saying, “My dream is to play in the NBA, but first I need that national championship. Year 3.”


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