Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky senior forward Olivier Sarr announced Tuesday he will forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Sarr spent a season at UK after transferring from Wake Forest. He averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for the Wildcats and led the team with three double-doubles.
“I want to thank my parents, my brother, my entire family and support circle for believing in me every step of the way,” Sarr said. “I have been blessed during my four years of college to have learned from two great coaches in Coach John Calipari and Coach Danny Manning and alongside teammates that I consider brothers for a lifetime. I am so grateful to have played at Kentucky, and I want to thank all the staff and passionate fans for preparing me for the next step of my journey.
“After years of hard work and dedication, I will be graduating and pursuing my professional career by declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft. I am so excited about what the future holds and ready to take on new challenges. I will forever be a part of ‘La Familia.’ ”
Sarr is the fourth player from the 2020-21 Kentucky roster to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft. Freshman guards Brandon Boston Jr. and Terrence Clarke have renounced their college eligibility and have submitted their names for the 2021 NBA Draft. Freshman Isaiah Jackson declared his NBA Draft intentions as well but is leaving open the option to return to school.
“I am so happy for Olivier and excited to see what he does with this next step in his journey,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Olivier really improved himself this season, yet he still has a ton of room to grow and has the type of skills that translate to that next level. At the end of the day, you are talking about a 7-foot skilled big man who can shoot it and block shots. He is only going to get better.
“I wish Olivier had the opportunity this past year to enjoy a normal season here with a summer to build additional strength, but he had a plan and stuck with it throughout this whole process. He has a maturity about him that will serve him well entering the NBA. Olivier has my full support, and I can’t wait to watch him tackle this next phase of his career.”
The Frenchman played his best basketball down the stretch, scoring in double figures in nine of the final 12 games, including 14 or more points in the last three games.
Sarr’s best statistical performance this season was a 24-point, seven-rebound effort in the home victory vs. Vanderbilt. He made 5 of 10 from the floor and 14 of 17 from the free-throw line, both career bests. He also scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots in a near-incredible comeback vs. Notre Dame.
(Release via Kentucky)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.