Oscar Tshiebwe to Pacers

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Kentucky Wildcats legend Oscar Tshiebwe is now living the NBA Draft.

After not being selected in the 2023 NBA Draft, Tshiebwe was signed by the Indiana Pacers to a two-way contract (go here for an explainer on two-way deals).

The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news first.

While Tshiebwe was certainly hoping to be drafted, it’s still a wonderful sight to see him realize his NBA dreams!

Before questioning Tshiebwe’s ultimate decision not to return to Lexington, it’s important to understand that he knew his path wouldn’t be an easy one.

Showing what he can offer a team during summer league play will be an important step in Tshiebwe’s quest to carve out a role on a lab NBA roster. There were flashes of dominance during the NBA Combine, which he’ll aim to build on this summer.

The former 5-star prospect went into this understanding that it’ll take some grit and on-purpose development to make an impact beyond the collegiate level.

It’s hard to imagine a player like Tshiebwe not putting in the necessary work to be successful on the basketball court, no matter the level of competition.

Regardless of whether it’s in the NBA or another professional league, I’d anticipate him having a long, lucrative career.

Oscar Tshiebwe will go down as one of the best players to ever wear blue and white. His National Player of the Year season was something that Kentucky fans may never see replicated in their lifetime.

During his two seasons in Lexington, Tshiebwe more than kept the statisticians busy. Including his time at West Virginia, the big man would pull down a jaw-dropping 1,317 rebounds as was an automatic double-double.

This past season, Tshiebwe led the Cats with 16.5 points and a nation-best 13.7 boards per game. He’s tied for second in career double-doubles (48), sixth in all-time career rebounds (952), and 48th in scoring (1,117) in program history.

It’s frustrating that Tshiebwe didn’t get to taste a lot of success in the NCAA Tournament, despite him playing at a superstar level.

In the loss to Saint Peter’s in 2022, #34 played a grueling 43 minutes, grabbed 16 boards, and poured in 30 points.

In the Cats’ more recent tournament loss to Kansas State, Tshiebwe had 25 points and 18 rebounds.

Bottom line is that The Big O will go down as one of the best to ever do it and should be remembered nothing but fondly.

The Big Blue Nation wishes you all the best, Oscar.

Go get ‘em, Big O!

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