We heard some rumblings about this even before the season ended, but this morning, the news just became official. UK just announced that Isaac Humphries is going to pursue his options in the NBA and internationally. He will sign with an agent, ending his career at Kentucky.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the Big Blue Nation for its unwavering support,” Humphries said in a release from UK. “Coming from Australia, I had no idea what to expect when I got to Kentucky, but you made me one of your own. Your support and passion over the last two years has been unbelievable. I can’t thank you enough for making me feel at home.
“This decision didn’t come easily for me. My goal has always been to play professionally. There is no better place to prepare you to take that step than the University of Kentucky. Over the last two years, thanks to Coach Cal and the coaching staff, I’ve gotten so much better and improved my game. I believe I have a lot more I can do, but I also believe that the time for me to take the next step is now.
“At the end of the day I have to do what I believe is best for myself and my family. I know turning pro is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I understand that these next few weeks and months with the pre-draft process is going to take a lot of hard work and maybe some realistic truths. But, because of what I’ve learned at Kentucky and the support I have from my family and this school, I also feel like I’m ready to face those challenges and that I’m prepared for whatever is next and wherever that may take me.
“It’s going to be difficult not playing at Kentucky next season and I’m going to miss everything that comes with being a Wildcat. I’ll miss my brothers. The friends I have made here and the relationships I have formed will last a lifetime. During such a developing time of my life, it was a true blessing to be surrounded by such incredible people, fans, and teammates who were always looking out for me and always had my back.”
Last season, Isaac averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor. Sadly, his final game at Kentucky was his best. Against North Carolina in the Elite Eight, Isaac put up a career-high 12 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in in 21 minutes. After struggling to find his niche all season, he looked like a complete player, hitting jumpers, layups, and free throws, all while playing impressive defense and injecting the team with some much-needed energy.
“This was a difficult decision for Isaac but one that he and his mom put a lot of thought into,” head coach John Calipari said. “Isaac has gotten so much better in his two seasons here and I believe he’s only begun to scratch the surface of his true potential. I absolutely understand and fully support his decision and I will do whatever I can to help his dreams come true. You’re talking about a 7-footer who can shoot and can rebound. That has value anywhere in the world. He’s also just 19 years old, the youngest sophomore in the country this past season. Everyone forgets how young he is and how much he’s going to continue to grow and develop. He’s only going to get better and better. My belief is what you saw at the end of this season is just the beginning of his pro career.”
Best of luck to Isaac in the next chapter of his life. We’ll always have this moment of him serenading Shannon Spake: