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Kofi Cockburn withdraws name from NBA Draft, staying in transfer portal

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The big man will be in college next year. The question is where.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Drexel at Illinois Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Kofi Cockburn announced Tuesday morning he is taking his name out of the 2021 NBA Draft, but keeping his name in the transfer portal.

Cockburn made the announcement in an Instagram post.

Last week, it was reported that Cockburn had entered the transfer portal, while also staying in the Draft. The deadline for Draft decisions is Wednesday.

Being in the transfer portal, Cockburn could still return to Illinois if he wishes, but it looks like he will explore his options over the next few weeks.

The Kingston, Jamaica, native is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. It was Cockburn — not Luka Garza, Trevion Williams or Trayce Jackson-Davis — who led the Big Ten in double-doubles and rebounding.

Cockburn was the only player in the NCAA to average at least 15 points and 9 rebounds while shooting at least 60% from the field. As a result, Cockburn’s excellence earned him a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team and as a Second Team All-American.

If he stays at Illinois, he would enter his junior season potentially as a favorite for Big Ten and/or National Player of the Year. He led the nation last season with 78 dunks.