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Hamidou Diallo enters NBA Draft, will sign with an agent

Hamidou Diallo will enter the NBA Draft. Diallo announced the news on social media minutes ago, thanking Kentucky fans for their support.

His statement did not specify whether or not he would sign with an agent, but Kentucky Basketball’s Twitter account confirmed those are his intentions. He is the fourth Kentucky Wildcat to declare for the draft, joining Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and PJ Washington, the latter of which is just testing the waters for now.

“I would like to start off by thanking my family for always supporting and believing in me,” Diallo said. “Thank you to Coach Cal, the assistants and the staff for everything. You guys have pushed me to my limits and I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me. You’ve been honest with me from the start and always had my back. I can’t thank you enough. To my teammates, you guys are my brothers. You picked me up this season and helped me build my confidence when I needed it.

“A year ago I tested the waters to get some feedback and then make the best possible decision for my career. I chose to come back and I’m so happy I did. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Nothing made me prouder than to put that Kentucky name across my chest.

“Coming back to school I knew wasn’t going to be easy. Coach Cal told me it would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do and it was. But I grew up and became a man this year on and off the court. I know I’ve only scratched the surface with my game, but I’m now prepared to do it because of the work I’ve put in at Kentucky and the support of everyone at this university. With that said, I’m entering my name into the 2018 NBA Draft and am ready to take the next step.

“Thank you to the Big Blue Nation. You took in a kid from New York and made him one of your own. I love you guys and can’t thank you enough for believing in me and supporting me through everything.”

Hami averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while starting all 37 games for Kentucky this past season. He scored in double figures in 16 games and eclipsed the 20-point mark three times, including his breakout 22-point, eight-rebound performance vs. Buffalo in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

John Calipari praised Hami’s improvement and said that although he wished he had another year to coach him, he understands and supports his decision.

“I remember going through this process with Hami last year,” Calipari said. “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 and athletically, but we all learned about Hami’s toughness, his character and 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.”

Good luck, Hami.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

32 responses to “Hamidou Diallo enters NBA Draft, will sign with an agent”

  1. Randall lee

    That’s a shock!

  2. dballrb

    Well,there’s another surprise..

  3. mothandras

    Déjà vu

  4. KatsKlaws

    *gasp* …Shocking news!

  5. Willis Wolf Tattoo

    Damn, really thought he was going to be a four year player.

    1. bluecrowe

      He is a 4 year player, he just does not know yet. He will get a rude awakening for the next 3 years, but I do wish him luck. Just so he understands, one good game out of 34 against a 13 seed actually means you are absolutely NOT ready for the NBA. These kids are just ridiculous.

  6. dballrb

    I have to admit that I did post a comment before watching Hami’s announcement….He put together what I think is one of the best ” announcements” that’s ever been posted on declaring for the NBA..Much love and respect to you Hami…Chase your dreams young man!!!!

  7. Catcasey1

    Don’t understand it but hope I’m wrong

  8. chris43

    But….but….BUT….he said that it wasn’t true and that the previous report was a lie! What a shocker! Fact is that he didn’t live up to all the hype by any means. I also don’t understand how he was rated over Colin Sexton as the #1 SG in the class. I have absolutely ZERO ISSUES with one and done IF you go first round. But just to go to be going regardless of outcome (can’t get out of Lexington fast enough)….whatever! Hate to say it but you couldn’t even consistently dominate or be one of the top players on the floor at NCAA level…welcome to the MAN league young fellow!

    1. WatchutalkinboutWillis

      You don’t “hate to say it”…you don’t hate to say anything apparently, you are obviously in love with your own opinion. You know ZERO about his situation and I’m pretty sure you’ve never been in a comparable position as he is in. How can you possibly think…at all…and come to a conclusion to bash a college kid for turning professional in a sport he loves? Sad life.

    2. chris43

      Nah not sad at all…considering that he’ll most likely be out of the league within 3 years if he doesn’t improve dramatically. His talent level is that of a 3-4 year player. You aren’t much of a UK fan if it doesn’t offend you by a player basically leaving UK knowing they’ll most likely do to the D league. I’m all about these guys making money BUT I am UK FAN above all!

  9. mikeintn

    Good luck, hope everything works out good for you Hami.

  10. SanDiegoCats

    Most obvious of the 3. He wanted to leave last year. Wish him luck.

    1. chris43

      This one goes out to you also “whatchatalkinboutwillis”….Yup! Sure did! Wanted to leave UK without even playing a game! One thing that I DON’T HATE TO SAY is that I sure will miss players like Kevin Knox and SGA a heck of a lot more. They only stayed ONE year but I truly think they love UK and WANTED to be here. 😉

  11. KYcats11

    Best of luck to Hami.

  12. RexRox

    Best of luck!

  13. chief_cat

    Chase your dreams, young man! Best of luck to you!!

  14. Mathlete

    Good luck Hami!

  15. Jiminy Crickets

    Maxey commit tomorrow?

  16. KYJelly

    Glad he’s trying to make his dreams come true, but another year would’ve benefitted him, especially with the weak draft next year

  17. RajonTheDon9

    This big news for the Univ. of Kentucky! Less equals more! Peace out Archie!!

  18. Lip Man 1

    Wish him the best but he clearly isn’t ready. Probably starts in the G-League. Hope he likes bus trips.

  19. wildcat74

    Another delusional decision. G league or Europe/Asia in 2 years.

  20. Cousins Fake Tooth

    “Hey, I’m projected in 2nd round, I have an idea, let me hire and agent and enter the draft!”.

  21. Han

    Good luck Hami. Ignore the haters, work hard, and live your dream.

  22. gwhittle

    Wish him the best. He needed another year, but I understand it. He wouldn’t have played next year and transferring would mean sitting a year

  23. Wade

    Never saw anything special from that kid. Saw like 3 memorable dunks maybe 2 in 1 game. Bad passer, bad shooter, bad dribbler, bad decision maker, idk what person told him to enter his name in the draft. Crazy. He’d be better suited with this years team with shooters and a better team. Next years draft is wide open could find himself in the middle of the first round bc I like what he did near the end. He d up and didn’t talk back at the end and started not being a detriment to the team.

    1. kybirdieman

      Will be the least missed. Good luck you will need it.

    2. callitlikeiseeit

      Wade I said same thing a few days ago, only thing he does well is jump. He will flounder i Gleague a few yars then who knows, hope he at least is smart enough to come back and get a degree {gonna need it}. Really hope all the Cal puts guys in the NBA people have now learned. It’s not Cal it was who he recruited. This year he missed and guys that were projected high picks will not even get drafted after a year with Cal. Vando can’t use the injury cause guys like Porter out most of the year} and Robinson {did not even play} Simmons {played at IMG Academy} will be lottery and mid first rounders. Probably the best player in the class [Doncic} did not even play in America.

  24. shelby

    Best of luck to a fine young man; live ur dream Hami, and thank u for letting us be a small part of it.

  25. makeitstop

    Well that should about do it. Vando can’t test the waters without playing at the combine and he can’t play apparently, Richards is returning and PJ is going to hear what he needs to move from at best bottom second (according to draft boards) round to mid first round and then come back and work on doing it. Green isn’t going anywhere – tough kid and we will need him. Gabriel could decide he wants to sign as a free agent but he isn’t on anyone’s draft board. He wants some money but while he’s old for college – going to be 22 – he’s not been in basketball long enough, and still needs a lot of work to get drafted. Now that’s the rational side of this… throw a few handlers in and who knows.

    1. makeitstop

      That would be 6 returnees with 5 of them playing a lot of minutes and maybe 5 new… all of them challenging for minutes. Not too bad.