Former Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley has been selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. However, the New York Knicks will receive the pick, per reports. He will rejoin forces with former Kentucky assistant and current Knicks coach Kenny Payne, along with former UK players Julius Randle and Kevin Knox.
Sources: OKC is selecting Immanuel Quickley with the No. 25 pick in the NBA Draft — going to Knicks.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 19, 2020
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 19, 2020
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) November 19, 2020
“We win the league by three games because of how he [Immanuel Quickley] played!” Head coach John Calipari said during the live Draft broadcast on ESPN after Quickley was selected.
The shooting guard elected to declare for the draft after spending two successful seasons with the Wildcats. Following Tyrese Maxey’s selection by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 21 overall pick, Quickley is the second UK player off the Draft board. Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards, E.J. Montgomery, and Kahlil Whitney are all still available.
Quickley’s sophomore campaign saw a huge leap from his freshman season, as he was named the SEC Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season, along with making the All-SEC First Team. He was also recognized as a Third Team All-American by several outlets. Alongside Maxey and point guard Ashton Hagans, the trio formed a three-headed backcourt monster that helped propel that ‘Cats to a 17-3 record to close out the year before the coronavirus canceled all postseason events.
After posting a modest 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds during his first season in Lexington, Quickley’s numbers exploded across the board in year two. His 16.1 points per game, 62 made 3-pointers, and 42.8 3-point shooting percentage all led the Southeastern Conference. He’ll go down in Kentucky history as one of the program’s all-time steadiest free-throw shooters, connecting on 92.3 percent (144-156) as a sophomore, the second-best mark in one season by a UK player.
Congrats to IQ!