Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn has declared for the NBA Draft, announcing his intentions via Instagram post.
Kofi Cockburn NBA Draft
Cockburn emerged as a standout freshman this season, scoring 13.3 points and grabbing 8.8 rebounds per game. Possessing an absurd 7-foot, 290-pound body, he figures to have no trouble acclimating to the physicality of the NBA game, though his position and particular skill set have been depreciating in value over time.
Cockburn was a vital cog for a very good Illinois team, which was on track to make its first NCAA Tournament since 2013 before the coronavirus struck. He collected 12 double-doubles and was an imposing rim protector for the Illini.
With three years of eligibility remaining, it's quite possible Cockburn will return to Champaign after dipping his toe into the waters. But whenever he eventually turns pro, he'll be embraced with open arms by a franchise and its fans. This guy has crowd favorite written all over him.
Great name, arresting physique, good attitude. Cockburn is a cult hero walking. And that's before he gets on an NBA weight program. One does not simply see guys north of three bills bumping uglies in the paint every day, no matter how much extra baggage Zion Williamson is carrying around.
The bandwagon will grow exponentially wherever he lands, and take off like a rocket ship if his role includes meaningful playing time.
Very much looking forward to it.