Tyrese Maxey headed for NBA Draft


Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey claps during the game against Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 73-66 clinching the SEC regular season title. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

Freshman Tyrese Maxey has announced via social media that he’s leaving the University of Kentucky to pursue an NBA career. 

“Even though I didn’t get a chance to compete for my ultimate goal, this season was everything I signed up for. I know I’m a better player and man for embracing the challenge of playing for Kentucky,” Maxey said.

“It’s time for my next challenge though. My dream has always been to play in the NBA and I know I’m prepared for this because I’m Wildcat made.”

Maxey plans to sign with an agent and forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility. 

The smiley, 6-foot-3 guard from Garland, Texas averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He also shot 42.7 percent from the floor and made 33 3-pointers this season. Maxey had six 20-point performances, highlighted by his career-high 27 points in late December in Kentucky’s win over Louisville. 

“Tyrese made that leap this season,” Wildcats head coach John Calipari said in a UK press release. He met every challenge and became one of the best guards in the country. Not only was it his dream to play at Kentucky, he wanted to be coached. He’s going to do great in that league because there’s nothing he can’t do. He can handle the ball, he can shoot, he’s got great athleticism and he really defended as the season went on. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of what Jamal Murray was able to do and we know how well he’s done in the NBA.”

Maxey is the third Wildcat of this offseason to announce his departure, and the second Wildcat to declare for the NBA, along with guard Ashton Hagans.