UConn star Adama Sanogo plans to enter the NBA draft, he announced on social media Thursday.
Sanogo, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player earlier this month, is maintaining his college eligibility but is focused on staying in the draft at this point, sources told ESPN.
"Thank you UConn," Sanogo wrote. "Thank you to the best fans in the country that have supported me from the first day I got to Storrs. Thank you to the incredible support and guidance from Coach Hurley and the staff. They invested the time and energy to making me a better player and person. Most importantly thank you to my family and support system that has always allowed me to focus on reaching my dreams and have sacrificed so much for me.
"I am so excited for the next stop on my journey and proud to announce that I will declare for the 2023 NBA draft and will stay focused on the process and giving myself every chance to hear my name called. I will always cherish my time at UConn and will always be my home away from home."
A 6-foot-9 big man from Mali, Sanogo was the star of UConn's dominant run through the NCAA tournament en route to the program's fifth national championship. He averaged 19.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in six tournament games, capped by 17 points and 10 rebounds in the title game win over San Diego State.
Sanogo was named first-team All-Big East for the second straight season after averaging 17.2 points and 7.7 rebounds and shooting 60.6% from the field. As a sophomore, Sanogo put up 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds and blocked 1.9 shots per game. He made tremendous strides as a 3-point shooter: After attempting just one in his first two seasons at UConn, he made 19 this past season at a 36.5% clip.
He's ranked No. 87 in ESPN's 2023 NBA draft rankings, slotting in as the No. 9 center in the draft.
Sanogo is one of four players on NBA draft boards coming out of the NCAA tournament. Projected lottery pick Jordan Hawkins already declared for the draft, while freshman Donovan Clingan announced he was returning to Storrs. Borderline first-round pick Andre Jackson Jr. hasn't officially made his decision yet.