Chuma Okeke, Auburn’s versatile sophomore forward, is heading to the NBA Draft. Okeke’s season came to an end prematurely, when he tore his ACL in the Sweet 16 against North Carolina.
Auburn ultimately overcame the injury enough to make the Final Four, and give Virginia a serious run in the national semifinal. The Tigers dropped that one 63-62, in one of the most dramatic games of the NCAA Tournament.
Okeke was considered the SEC program’s best NBA prospect throughout the year. At 6-foot-8, he averaged 12 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Okeke shot a shade under 50-percent from the field, and 37.8-percent from three. In his last four games, starting with the SEC Championship Game, which Auburn won, Okeke scored 15.8 points and grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game.
Despite the injury, Chuma Okeke will enter the NBA Draft.
He made the decision this afternoon.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony first broke the news this morning, and added that Okeke will hire an agent.
Per new rules, Okeke can still return to Auburn even with an agent. However, it is unclear how apt he may be to do so. He just had successful surgery on April 2, so he won’t have a chance to work out for teams, and any feedback will come from his play during the last two seasons for Bruce Pearl.
In that case, it seems fairly likely that he will stay in the Draft, but he does have the option of withdrawing. Players must make that call by May 29.
Okeke joins teammate Jordan Harper as Auburn players going to the draft.