PJ Washington declares for NBA Draft, signs with agent


Kentucky sophomore forward PJ Washington celebrates during the game against Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Kentucky sophomore forward PJ Washington has officially announced via Twitter that he is signing with an agent and declaring for the NBA Draft.

The Dallas native will end his Kentucky basketball career with 932 points, 475 rebounds 120 assists, 74 blocks and various accolades including SEC and All-American honors, including NCAA Consensus All-America Third Team selection.

“I want to thank God, Coach Cal and the staff with challenging me to become the player that I am. They believed in my potential and never accepted anything less than my best. Thank you helping me grow into a man that’s ready for this next step,” Washington said. “To my teammates: Wow, we have been through so much. Thank you for putting your trust in me and for inspiring me through every workout, practice and game. I’ll never forget this group. And to everyone at UK: Thank you for your support and for helping a kid from Dallas see his dreams come true.”

Coming back for a second season to improve his game suited Washington well– he produced career highs in almost every statistical category in 2018-19, including leading the Wildcats in scoring (15.2 points per game), rebounding (7.5 per game) and double-doubles (nine).

“I’m so proud of PJ and what he’s accomplished over the last two seasons,” UK head coach John Calipari said in a UK press release. “When he was in this position last year, he had to determine what was best for him. He looked at this and said, I want to come back and work on my game, to be coached, to become one of the best players in the game and to help us be one of those teams in the mix. And I told him, do not come back to school unless you’re going to drag your teammates with you. And boy did he ever.”

On the season, Washington shot 52.2 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent from 3-point range.

The 2019 NBA Draft Combine will take place May 15-19 in Chicago, but it hasn’t been determined yet if Washington will participate. The 2019 NBA Draft is June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.