Malik Monk announced Tuesday that he plans to enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft and will sign with an agent. He becomes the second underclassman to declare for the d after De’Aaron Fox announced his intentions on Monday.
“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.”
Monk finished his freshman season averaging 19.8 points per game, which was second among all freshmen nationally.
“Malik is a special talent,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “With Malik you’re talking about a superior athlete with skills and an ability to score that make him truly unique. What I love about Malik is that, as the season went on, he learned how to help our team win by doing more than just score. He became an efficient player who I believe will make an immediate impact at the next level.”
Monk became UK’s all-time leading freshman scorer with 754 points, passing Jamal Murray’s 720 from a season ago. That’s also fourth all-time in UK’s history books, regardless of class, trailing only Dan Issel (948; 1970), Jodie Meeks (854; 2009) and Jamal Mashburn (767; 1992).
Monk made 104 3-pointers on the season, not far behind Jodie Meeks’ school record of 117.