This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Tyrese Maxey just confirmed that he has officially declared for the 2020 NBA Draft and will forego his remaining eligibility at Kentucky.
“My thoughts were that we would be playing for a national championship (today),” Maxey told ESPN. “Although we’re unable to do that due to what our country is experiencing, I felt like this was the day to declare for the draft to make it as special as I thought today would be.”
Maxey averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists this past season, and is projected to be a lottery pick, top ten in some mock drafts. On social media, he thanked his coaches, teammates, and the Big Blue Nation for “an incredible year.”
“This year getting to rep Kentucky across my chest was everything I could have imagined,” Maxey said. “I got to play for a Hall of Famer, be pushed every day by the best coaches in the country, compete alongside great teammates and work with a support staff that is the gold standard – just like Coach Cal promised.
“Even though I didn’t get a chance to compete for my ultimate goal, this season was everything I signed up for. I know I’m a better player and man for embracing the challenge of playing for Kentucky.
“It’s time for my next challenge though. My dream has always been to play in the NBA and I know I’m prepared for this because I’m Wildcat made.
“Thank you to the Big Blue Nation, my coaches, teammates and everyone who has played a part in making this an incredible year. I will always bleed blue.”
— Tyrese Maxey (@TyreseMaxey) April 6, 2020
John Calipari congratulated Maxey in a statement released by UK. Maxey is the second Kentucky player to announce he is declaring for the draft and keeping his name in, joining Ashton Hagans.
“There was no player I was harder on this year than Tyrese, and there’s a reason for that. One, he’s a great kid with a confidence in his ability that does not waver. Two, he has a potential that he has only begun to realize. And three, Tyrese needed to be challenged to take that next step.
“Tyrese made that leap this season. He met every challenge and became one of the best guards in the country. Not only was it his dream to play at Kentucky, he wanted to be coached. He’s going to do great in that league because there’s nothing he can’t do. He can handle the ball, he can shoot, he’s got great athleticism and he really defended as the season went on. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of what Jamal Murray was able to do and we know how well he’s done in the NBA.
“I’m so happy for Tyrese and his family.”
Same. Congrats, Tyrese!
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) April 2, 2020