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Ochai Agbaji to return to KU for senior season with Jayhawks

Ochai Agbaji
Posted at 8:51 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 15:40:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ochai Agbaji will withdraw from the NBA draft and return to play his senior season at the University of Kansas, according to ESPN.

Agbaji was expected to be a second-round draft pick. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.

KU confirmed the announcement in a news release Tuesday.

"Going through the process at the NBA Combine and team workouts has been a really good experience," Agbaji said in the release. "I cannot thank my family enough, the NBA teams, my KU coaches and teammates, as well as everyone who supported me in this process. I am so looking forward to next season, playing in front of the best fans in basketball and contending for a national championship.”

The 6-foot-6 basketball star was named All-Big 12 honorable mention for each of the past two years, averaging 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 34 minutes per game, shooting 37% from 3-point range last season, according to ESPN.

KU head coach Bill Self said in the release that the team is excited for Agbaji's return.

“He did exactly what the process allows and encourages players to considering the Draft to do," Self said. "He will be better for it and so will our basketball team. We believe Ochai is a first-round talent and I look forward to pushing him daily towards that. I can’t wait to have Ochai and our full complement of players here very soon.”

Another year with KU could make Agbaji a first-round draft pick in the next NBA draft as he has time to improve his stats further.

RELATED: KU basketball coach Bill Self reflects on challenging year amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Jayhawks were a No. 3 seed in this year's NCAA tournament before getting upset by USC in the second round of March Madness.

The team will open the 2021-22 season with a Nov. 3 exhibition against Emporia State in Lawrence.