Jacob Toppin enters name into 2022 NBA Draft while retaining college eligibility


Kentucky Wildcats forward Jacob Toppin (0) looks up at the scoreboard during the UK vs. Vanderbilt SEC Tournament quarterfinals mens basketball game on Friday, March 11, 2022, at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. UK won 77-71. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

Kentucky forward Jacob Toppin has announced via social media that he will enter his name into the 2022 NBA Draft while retaining his college eligibility. 

The 6-foot-9 forward will not hire an agent, giving him the option to return to Lexington. 

“First I would like to thank God for all of my blessings. I would also like to thank all of the people who have been a part of my journey: my family, coaches, teammates, trainers and teachers,” Toppin said. “Big Blue Nation, the best fans in the world, thank you for all of the support. I love you all! After discussing my future plans with my family and coaches, I have decided to enter my name in the 2022 NBA Draft. Throughout this process I will be keeping my eligibility.”

Toppin has spent two seasons at Kentucky, transferring to Lexington after his freshman season at Rhode Island. In his junior season with the Wildcats, he averaged a career-high 6.2 points per game, while adding 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

The Brooklyn, New York native reached double-figures scoring on seven occasions, highlighted by a 14-point night against LSU on Jan. 4. The forward averaged 17.7 minutes this season, making four starts for UK. 

“I think Jacob is making a good decision for him and his family by using the resources that the NCAA allows. I’m in full support of Jacob’s desire to explore his options,” UK head coach John Calipari said in a statement. “Jacob is as athletic as any player who I’ve coached and has really begun to come into his own on the court. He has all of the tools to be successful in this game, but his willingness to share and be a great teammate is a difference maker.”

The deadline for a player to remove their name from the draft is June 1.