Oscar Tshiebwe has announced on Instagram that he’s staying in the NBA Draft.
Coming into last season, most thought that it would be Oscar Tshiebwe’s last as a Kentucky Wildcat. Which made it even more difficult to stomach when Kentucky lost to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament, with a very emotional Tshiebwe postgame.
However, since his announcement to go through the NBA Draft process in early April, Tshiebwe has thoroughly explored all of his options while continuing to work out for NBA teams.
Now, Tshiebwe is expected to remain in the draft and end his college career, according to Travis Branham of 247 Sports.
There’s also this from Andrew Slater and Trilly Donovan.
Prior to the final decision, A Sea of Blue was told that Tshiebwe was truly “torn” on what to do, so it’s safe to say that he did not come to this decision lightly. On one hand, he could have earned close to $2 million in NIL revenue with another season at Kentucky. On the other hand, he is 23 years old, and a return wouldn’t help his NBA prospects.
In the end, Tshiebwe may be losing some money, but he is betting on himself. To add, he is now eligible for an O-1A visa, which is for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement. This will allow his mother to move with him to the United States, which was not possible with his student visa.
Tshiebwe’s decision gives some clarity to Kentucky’s roster, but also some massive uncertainty.
The staff now knows they are not returning a former National Player of the Year, but the staff has to recalibrate and find some frontcourt depth. With just six weeks until Kentucky plays in GloblJam Jam in Canada, they don’t have long to do so.
Best of luck to Oscar as he looks to pursue his NBA dreams! And thanks for the memories!