Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo has declared for the NBA draft and intends to hire an agent.
Diallo made the announcement in a video posted to his Twitter account Monday evening. He went through the pre-draft process last year before deciding to return to Kentucky.
“Coming back to school, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Coach [John Calipari] told me it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Diallo said. “But I grew up this year. I became a man on and off the court. I know I’ve only scratched the surface of my game, but I’m now prepared to do it because of the work I put in at Kentucky.
“With that being said, I’m entering my name into the 2018 NBA Draft. I am ready to take the next step.”
THANK YOU BIG BLUE NATION! pic.twitter.com/KyL4jokUsa
— Hamidou Diallo (@hamidoudiallo) April 16, 2018
Diallo averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in 37 starts as a freshman this season. He was eligible to enter last year’s draft as a prep school player one year removed from high school graduation.
“I remember going through this process with @hamidoudiallo last year,” Calipari said, beginning a series of tweets. “In both cases, our conversations were about what was best for Hami. Last year, he wanted to come back to put on that Kentucky jersey in a game for the first time, compete for a championship and improve his game. He did all three this season.
“Hami got better in all areas of his game. True growth happens when you get knocked down to the point of questioning yourself. We already knew how talented of a player Hami was physically & athletically, but we all learned about Hami’s toughness, his character & his desire to win.
“I am so proud of his growth from beginning to end. He’s prepared to succeed and will succeed. He’s the best athlete in the draft who’s continued to improve his shooting. He’s only touched his true talent. I wish I had the opportunity to coach him another year but I understand and support his decision.”
Diallo is the fourth Wildcat to declare for this years’ draft, joining Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and PJ Washington. Gilgeous-Alexander and Knox intend to sign with agents while Washington is testing the waters first.
–Field Level Media