Illinois star center Kofi Cockburn has been the talk of college basketball recently.
After initially declaring for the NBA Draft, rumors started to circulate that Cockburn was considering returning to college basketball after he entered the transfer portal last week.
Illinois Big Man Kofi Cockburn Surprisingly Enters Transfer Portalhttps://t.co/zLseOoa3da
— SideAction (@SideActionHQ) July 1, 2021
On Tuesday, it was reported that Kofi Cockburn has officially withdrew from the NBA Draft. But the big man will now have to decide whether he wants to remain at Illinois or not.
According to the report by 247 Sports’s Jeremy Werner, Cockburn’s decision will likely have a lot to do with the new NIL rule that allows NCAA players to benefit off of their name, image, and likeness.
“In previous years, Cockburn likely would’ve continued to pursue professional options. But with college student-athletes now allowed to make money off their name, image and likeness, Cockburn — one of the faces of college basketball — could stand to make as much, if not more, money by playing college basketball next season rather than in the NBA G-League or overseas. On top of being dominant in the post, the 7-foot, 285-pound physically imposing center is outgoing and likable, meaning he is extremely marketable,” Werner wrote.
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Kofi Cockburn has been tied to Kentucky after Illinois assistant coach Orlando Antigua was swooped up by John Calipari and the Wildcats earlier in the offseason.
However, Kofi is already a legend in Champaign, and would likely make just as much (if not more) money if he continues to keep Illinois in the national championship conversation.
Kofi Cockburn’s decision will have major ramifications across the Big Ten and college basketball. And we’ll all anxiously await any new developments in the story.