By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky today
LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) – Isaiah Jackson has decided to stay in the NBA Draft.
The University of Kentucky freshman forward will forfeit his last three years of eligibility after declaring himself for the draft, leaving the option of returning two months later. Jackson is considered a possible lottery pick in the July 29 draft.
“The journey is not over, but it’s time to take the next path,” he said. “I will be signing with CAA and forfeiting my remaining college eligibility to fully prepare for my professional career.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari backed Jackson’s decision to enter the draft.
““I am happy for Isaiah and his family,” Calipari said. “Seeing his growth this season was amazing. Its metrics are off the charts. Anyone writing Isaiah will get an incredible defender who can hold multiple positions and protect the rim.
“Offensively, we saw his game really start to take off at the end of the season. The team that catches Isaiah is going to be surprised as he is only starting to scratch the surface on who he’s going to be as a player. I can’t wait to see what he does at this next level. We wish him good luck.
As a rookie last season, Jackson averaged 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while appearing in 25 games. He blocked 65 shots and averaged 2.6 rejections per fight.
Former Kentucky players Brandon Boston Jr. and Olivier Sarr have also declared themselves for the draft, while Davion Mintz has until July 7 to make a final decision on his future.
Keith Taylor is sports writer for Kentucky Today. Contact him at [email protected] or twitter @ keithtaylor21.