Wenyen Gabriel Announces He Will Leave Kentucky, Remain in 2018 NBA Draft

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2018

Kentucky forward Wenyen Gabriel moves the ball against Davidson during a first-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. Kentucky won 78-73. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Wenyen Gabriel initially kept the door open to return to Kentucky for his junior season, but he is officially moving on to the next chapter in his life. 

On Wednesday, Gabriel announced on Twitter that he would remain in the draft pool after receiving positive feedback during the pre-draft process:

UPMΛN™ @WenyenGabriel

To the best fans in the world, I couldn’t be more honored to have worn that Kentucky name across my chest for the past two years. It truly has been a blessing. To all those who have supported me, I just want to say thank you. My time here will never be forgotten... wish me well! https://t.co/zpukdXMcf1

Gabriel declared for the draft back in April with the intention of testing the waters before hiring an agent:

UPMΛN™ @WenyenGabriel

Those things we think impossible you can achieve, we know it ain't promised or guaranteed but everybody got a dream💯 https://t.co/t1cgnDMTVY

Now, he has decided it's time to take his talents to the next level.

The Wildcats thanked Gabriel for his two years on campus:

Kentucky Basketball @KentuckyMBB

Decision No. 2 is in. @WenyenGabriel is keeping his name in the 2018 NBA Draft. We want to say thank YOU, Wenyen, for all the memories. We had a blast and will never stop supporting you. #DreamBig https://t.co/jxUe3m83wi

Gabriel averaged 5.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game during his time in Lexington, including 6.8 points and 5.4 rebounds as a sophomore. He shot 39.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. He was part of Kentucky teams that made it to the Elite Eight and the Sweet 16, respectively.

As the Wildcats pointed out, he ended his college career on a strong note:

Kentucky Basketball @KentuckyMBB

Included in that late-season run was an unforgettable performance in the SEC Tournament semis. Gabriel made all seven of his 3-point attempts en route to 23 points. The 7-for-7 performance set UK school records and SEC Tournament records for most 3-pointers made without a miss.

The 6'9", 205-pound prospect did not appear on Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman's big board following the combine.


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