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UK’s Adebayo received an extra nudge from Calipari to remain in the NBA Draft

By Keith Taylor
KyForward Senior Sports Writer

When he came to making a final decision regarding his future, former Kentucky forward Bam Adebayo received an extra nudge from John Calipari.

Adebayo told reporters at the NBA Combine in Chicago last weekend the Kentucky coach urged him to remain in the draft instead of coming back for one more season.

Former Kentucky forward Bam Adebayo says he received an extra push from John Calipari to remain in the NBA Draft. Adebayo is projected to be a late first-round pick in next month’s draft (Keith Taylor Photo)

“He felt like I was doubting my potential,” Adebayo said. “He was like, ‘what’s wrong with you, man?’ He was like, ‘Go!’ And I was like, ‘all right.’”

Adebayo is projected to be selected late in the first round, along with classmates De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Hamidou Diallo also is a possible first-round selection following last week’s impressive showing in Chicago. With his college career behind him, Adebayo is looking forward to next month’s draft.

“I just can’t wait for the moment when I can buy my mom anything she wants at any moment in time” he said.

In a recent mock draft produced by nbadraft.net, Washington’s Markelle Fultz is the projected top pick, followed by Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Fox (Kentucky), Josh Jackson (Kansas) and Jayson Tatum (Duke). Monk is projected at No. 9, Adebayo is 18th, followed by Diallo at No. 20. Diallo has until May 24 to decide whether to remain in the draft or return to Kentucky next season.

Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell is predicted to be chosen at No. 25 in next month’s draft.

Starting fresh

Former Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe wasn’t in much of mood to talk about his career at Kentucky last week. Briscoe, one of four former Kentucky players taking part in the NBA combine, said he’s “just trying to start fresh.”

“I enjoyed my experience at Kentucky, but I moved on,” said Briscoe, who isn’t projected to be selected in the draft.

Read More at Keith's Blog

Read More at Keith’s Blog: Out of the Blue

Briscoe played a varsity of guard positions in Kentucky’s backcourt during his two seasons with the Wildcats, but is intent on becoming a point guard at the next level.

“Obviously I wasn’t playing point guard in college (and) it is what it is,” he said. “College is over with (and) why are we still talking about college? I”m starting a new chapter in my life.”

Although Briscoe has no proven track record as a point guard, he’s not worried about trying to prove himself.

“I’m from Newark (N.J.),” he said. “I’ve been doing this my whole life (and) it’s nothing new. I’ve been fighting my way out (and) all that. Where I’m from, not too many people make it to here. I’m fighting (and) that’s what I’m used to.”

Date set for charity game

The annual UK Alumni Charity Game is set for Aug. 25 at Rupp Arena. The yearly event is held in conjunction with the John Calipari Fantasy Experience and features former Kentucky players, most of whom have played for Calipari at Kentucky.

Since its inception, the event has raised $1.5 million for charity, including $450,000 for flood victims in Louisiana.

Keith Taylor is a senior sports writer for KyForward, where he primarily covers University of Kentucky sports. Reach him at keith.taylor@kyforward.com or @keithtaylor21 on Twitter

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