Toppin to forgo another season at UK, declares for NBA Draft

Published 3:49 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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Jacob Toppin has opted to forgo another season at Kentucky and declared for the NBA Draft on Friday.

“Before we even start, I want to thank God, because without Him none of this would be possible,” he said. “I want to thank my mom, because without her sacrifice me nor my brother would be the men we are today. I want to thank all my family and friends for supporting me along this journey.”

Toppin, brother of New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin, averaged 12.4 points ad 6.8 rebounds per game and scored double figures in 23 contests. Toppin played in 86 games and made 37 starts during his collegiate career. He averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds a game during his time with the Wildcats.

Kentucky coach John Calipari expressed his support Toppin, who played three seasons for UK after transferring from Rhode Island.

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“I’m excited for Jacob to take this next step of chasing his dream of becoming a professional player,” said Calipari, who named Toppin a team captain prior to the NCAA Tournament. “Jacob has steadily improved every season and is ready for this next step. He has all of the tools to be successful in that league and is mentally prepared beyond measure to handle anything that comes his way.”

Since his youth, Toppin said, “it’s always been a dream of mine to be able to play at the highest level of basketball.”

“I came to Kentucky to chase that dream and in my time here, I’ve grown tremendously not only as a player but as a man. This place has taught me things that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” he said. “For that, I want to thank my coaches and my teammates and most importantly the fans. Your support and passion are things I’ll never forget, and I will carry with me.

“It has been a memorable time for me, and Kentucky will forever hold a special place in my heart. I’ve loved my time here, but I’m ready to finally fulfill my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. With that being said, I will be entering my name into the 2023 NBA Draft. Go Big Blue!”