(NEW YORK) — Kentucky Wildcats freshman Isaiah Jackson will forgo his remaining eligibility at the university and remain in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft after choosing to hire an agent according to ESPN.
The 6″10 forward from Pontiac, Michigan averaged 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and led the SEC in blocks with 2.6 a game in 25 games for the Wildcats. Jackson was named to the SEC All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams and ESPN ranks him as the 11th best prospect in the draft.
“This is going to be a big burden off my shoulders. That’s all anyone wants to know. A lot of Kentucky fans are telling me to stay every day. I just want to be able to do what I want instead of being restricted. I want to do camps and autograph signings to get some money in my pocket. In order to set that up I need to be fully declared,” Jackson told ESPN.
Jackson said Wildcat’s head coach John Calipari and the rest of the coaching staff have been supportive of his decision to leave the team to play professionally. He told ESPN, “Coach Cal hasn’t put any pressure on me to return. He basically gave me his blessing. He said he would love to have me back, but whatever decision I make he’s rocking it. That’s my guy. He knows it’s my dream.”
Jackson is working out alongside players projected to go in the draft like Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, a top-8 projected pick, and G-League Ignite shooting guard Jalen Green, considered the 4th best prospect according to ESPN.
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