“I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA draft,” Whitney told ESPN. “I truly believe in my development and grind. I want to thank my coaches, fans, trainers and family for ongoing support. My journey will be inspiring to kids and athletes all over the globe. #provethemwrong”
A top-15 recruit in the Class of 2019, Whitney came to Kentucky with a lot of fanfare and big expectations, among them being the hope he’d be a future first-round NBA Draft pick. However, it quickly became evident that Whitney was nowhere close to being ready for a big role on a Final Four contender like Kentucky.
In about 13 minutes per game, Whitney wasn’t providing much production with averages of 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds with poor shooting percentages across the board. He was losing minutes as the season has progressed, and he eventually decided to leave the team midseason.
Initially, Whitney was thought to be looking for another school to transfer to, but he made it clear the NBA was still his main goal, so it’s not a real surprise to see he’s finished with college and ready to be a pro, wherever that may be.
It’s an unfortunate end for Whitney and his once-promising career in a Kentucky jersey. Even through his struggles, Kentucky head coach Calipari still had hope for the talented forward.
Back in December, Calipari said Whitney was the key to 2020-21 Wildcats if he could get to the point where he fulfilled his potential.
“I’ve told the team, we’ve got a ceiling unless he plays for us. We don’t have anybody like him. He’s the one,” said Calipari.
Sadly, we never came close to seeing what Whitney could ultimately be in college. Now, he’ll look to begin his professional journey, which will almost certainly begin overseas or in the NBA G-League.
Here’s to hoping Whitney finds happiness in wherever his next journey takes him.