Illini freshman Cockburn declares for the NBA Draft


EAST LANSING, MI – JANUARY 2: Kofi Cockburn #21 of the Illinois Fighting Illini drives against Marcus Bingham Jr. #30 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Breslin Center on January 2, 2020, in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State defeated Illinois 76-56. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

(WTVO/WQRF) — It would appear that freshman sensation Kofi Cockburn has played his last basketball game for the Fighting Illini. Cockburn announced on Instagram Tuesday that he is declaring for the NBA Draft.

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Beyond blessed 🦍🙏🏾 #FMF #IGIPMT

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Cockburn was a major force behind the Fighting Illini’s rise to a 21-10 record this season and a fourth place finish in the Big Ten Conference. He averaged 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while also blocking 44 shots from the center position. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Head coach Brad Underwood gave his blessing to Cockburn in a tweet stating, “We are in full support of Kofi’s decision. We’re recruiting players to Illinois who have career aspirations of playing at the highest level. We will continue to help Kofi in every way possible as he goes through this process and with the information he receives from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.”

If Cockburn doesn’t like the feedback he gets he has until June 15 to withdraw from the draft and return to Illinois, but based on his performance this season he is more than likely to find a spot in the NBA.

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