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Coleman Hawkins withdraws from NBA Draft, returning to Illinois

Coleman is coming back.

2023 NBA Combine Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

Coleman is coming back.

Two months after entering the NBA Draft, rising senior Coleman Hawkins withdrew his name from the field and announced Wednesday night he will be coming back to Illinois for one more season.

Hawkins had said in recent days that he wanted to know if a team was planning on drafting him before making his decision. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft is Wednesday.

Not much of a factor in his freshman season, Hawkins had a much bigger role as a sophomore. Averaging almost 20 minutes a game, he recorded six double-digit scoring performances.

Hawkins was crucial in many wins last season, but every starter departing left him with big shoes to fill.

He became one of the leaders on this year’s Illinois squad, averaging 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

One of his best games of the year was back in November, when he recorded the fifth triple-double in program history.

Hawkins’ creativity and inside presence were also complemented by his athletic ability. Multiple posterizing dunks made the Illini big man a human-highlight reel.