Kentucky Wildcats G Hamidou Diallo withdraws from 2017 NBA Draft

By The Sports Xchange   |   May 25, 2017 at 3:42 PM
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Promising Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo withdrew his name from the NBA Draft prior to the deadline and will play for the Wildcats this season.

Diallo graduated early from high school and enrolled at Kentucky in January but didn't play for the Wildcats last season. He entered the NBA draft process and was eligible to return to college because he didn't retain an agent.

He created some waves at the NBA draft combine in Chicago by posting a vertical leap of 44 feet, five inches, the second-highest in combine history.

The 6-foot-6 Diallo was forecasted as a late first-round pick. He withdrew his name just minutes prior to the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline on Wednesday night.

"I hope to play in the NBA one day -- just not this season," Diallo said in a statement on his Twitter feed. "Based on the information I received by testing the waters, I believe it's in my best interests to return to school.

"Although I was a part of the team last season and trained with my teammates, I never fulfilled another one of my dreams, which was to play for a major college program and win a national title. I am excited about returning to Kentucky for the 2017-18 season. I can't wait to play in a Kentucky jersey for the first time."

Naturally, Wildcats coach John Calipari was pleased with Diallo's decision. Kentucky needs to replace all five starters from last season's Elite Eight squad, including the standout backcourt of Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox.

"I'm really proud of Hami. He took in all the information, asked a lot of questions, including questions to the NBA teams," Calipari said in a statement. "I love the fact that he wants to put himself in a better position and help lead this new team to a championship.

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