The inevitable has become official. On Tuesday, the Kentucky basketball program announced star freshman guard Malik Monk will be entering the 2017 NBA Draft. Monk joins fellow guard De’Aaron Fox in making the leap to the NBA, meaning the Wildcats will have to replace its entire starting backcourt for next season.
During his lone season at Kentucky, Monk racked up a plethora of awards.
Along with being named the SEC Freshman of the Year, Monk was the SEC Newcomer of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, All-SEC First Team and a second team All-American.
Monk averaged 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
The news was confirmed with a lengthy statement from Monk on the school’s official website.
“After taking some time with my family and reflecting on this season, I have decided to enter my name into the 2017 NBA Draft,” Monk said. “As a little kid, these are words that I could only dream of saying. For that I am very grateful and thank God. I would like to thank Coach Cal for helping me evolve my game and become a more complete basketball player. You pushed me all season to be my best and taught me the true meaning of team and sacrifice. KP (Kenny Payne), thank you for mentoring me on and off the court and helping me perfect my craft while guiding me through the entire process. I want to thank all of the coaches and support staff for investing time and energy in my future and helping me mature as a young man. Month by month I have grown and matured on and off the floor because of you guys.“I want to thank my teammates. You guys made this the best year of my life, and you will always have a brother in me. I appreciate everyone that plays a part in this program from the administration, academic support, to the managers. It takes a village and the time you invested off the court made everything on the court possible.“BBN, I cannot thank you enough for all the support and encouragement you showed me throughout the year. Although the season didn’t end like we wanted it to, you gave me memories that will last a lifetime. We couldn’t have done it without you. From the Bahamas to Vegas, you were right there. Through the ups and downs of the season, you were right there. I will forever be thankful for the support. You are truly the best fans in the world.”
The 2017 NBA Draft takes place on June 22.
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