Kofi Cockburn declares for NBA Draft


Mark Capapas

Sophomore Kofi Cockburn dunks the ball during the game against Purdue Jan. 8. Cockburn declared for the NBA Draft Sunday afternoon.

By Jackson Janes, Sports Editor

Sophomore center Kofi Cockburn announced Thursday via social media that he is declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft, joining teammates Ayo Dosunmu and Giorgi Bezhanishvili, who declared in early April.

Cockburn was basically a walking double-double in the first half of the season. The Jamaica native averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds and was one of the biggest reasons why the Illini earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The sophomore center also earned All-Big Ten First Team honors and was a consensus All-America Second Team inclusion, meaning he qualifies to have his name and jersey hung in the rafters at State Farm Center.

“I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to walk this journey and build all these wonderful relationships and memories that will last a lifetime,” Cockburn wrote in a social media post Sunday afternoon. “Thank you to my coaches, mentors and family for always offering me the love, guidance and wisdom needed to cross every obstacle that came my way, for them I am truly grateful.

“To my team, you have helped in making me the man I am today in so many ways, no matter how many challenges came, we looked out for one another and I am proud to call you my brothers.

“Illini Nation, I can’t even begin to express how happy I am to be an Illini. You guys were not allowed to attend most of the games, but your love was felt throughout the entire season. You guys provided ultimate support, and I have no regrets from choosing you.”

This is the second straight season that Cockburn has declared for the NBA Draft.



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