Oscar Tshiebwe to return to Kentucky for 2022-23 season


Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) celebrates a teammates three pointer during the UK vs. Florida mens basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 78-57. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

After winning almost every individual award in the book this season, Oscar Tshiebwe is strapping in for a second round in Lexington.

The Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo native is returning to Kentucky for the 2022-23 season, he announced Wednesday afternoon on SportsCenter.

Tshiebwe became the first player in program history to be named the unanimous National Player of the Year. He is the first NPOY to return to school since Tyler Hansbrough returned to North Carolina in 2008. 

Tshiebwe won all six NCAA-recognized electors for National Player of the Year, winning the Wooden Award alongside honors from The Sporting News, The National Association of Basketball Coaches, the United States Basketball Writers Association, the Associated Press and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. 

Averaging 17.4 points per game and a nation’s best 15.1 rebounds per game, he became the first Division I player who averaged at least 15.0 points and rebounds per game in over 40 years. 

He also managed to average over 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game, the only player in the major conferences to do so. Tshiebwe became the second Wildcat to lead his team in points, rebounds, blocks, steals and field goal percentage per game, joining Anthony Davis. 

Tshiebwe concluded his monster season with 16 straight double-doubles, the longest streak in program history. He also set the UK record for double-doubles in a season with 18.

“I will be in the blue for Kentucky next year again,” Tshiebwe said.