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Senior became ninth player in program history to earn consensus All-America honors twice

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe has declared for the 2023 NBA Draft but will retain his collegiate eligibility.

Players can submit paperwork to receive evaluations from the NBA and participate – if invited – in the NBA Draft Combine which is slated to take place May 15-21. The deadline to return to school is May 31.

“Oscar fulfilled one dream by being a Kentucky basketball player, but he’s ready to chase this next dream,” Calipari said. “There is no player in that league like Oscar. He’s also an ideal player to have in your locker room because he will truly care about his teammates, the organization and the community. I’m excited for Oscar to go through this process to see if it’s his time to live out his ultimate goal.”

Tshiebwe is perhaps the most decorated player in program history. He became the program’s first unanimous National Player of the Year in 2022 after pacing the nation in rebounding and setting numerous records.

He returned for a second season and became just the ninth player in program history to earn consensus All-America honors in at least two seasons. He led the Cats with 16.5 points and a nation-best 13.7 boards per game.

“First, I would like to thank God for everything He has done for me,” Tshiebwe said. “It has been amazing to see the many blessings He has shown me through my time at the University of Kentucky. I would like to thank my family and everyone who has supported me over the years while working towards my dream. I would also like to thank Coach Calipari and the coaching staff for believing in a kid from the Congo, as well as my teammates for standing beside me and fighting every day.

At this time, I feel as though it is best for me to declare for the NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility. As I continue down this path, I pray that I can continue to have the amazing love and support of BBN, as you will always be in my heart and prayers. Only God knows what my future holds, but until then, it’s time to get to work”

Tshiebwe has averaged 16.9 points and 14.4 rebounds per game in 66 UK appearances. He ranks tied for second in career double-doubles (48), sixth in all-time career rebounds (952) and 48th in scoring (1,117).

The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 15-21 and the 2023 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on TwitterFacebookInstagram and TikTok, and on the web at

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