De’Aaron Fox declares for the NBA Draft

Kentucky Wildcats guard De’Aaron Fox reacts after losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regional Elite 8 at FedExForum in Memphis, TN on Friday March 24, 2017. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

As UK fans have grown accustomed to in years past, now around the time when the Cats talented freshman announce their plans to move on to the next level through the NBA Draft. UK freshman De’Aaron Fox got the ball rolling for this year’s team, declaring his intentions to enter his name in the draft and hire an agent Monday afternoon. 

“I’ve decided to enter the 2017 NBA Draft and I will be signing with an agent. I think I’ve had a pretty good freshman season through the guidance of our coaching staff and I think it’s time for me to live out my dream.

The freshman out of Houston helped lead UK to SEC regular season and tournament titles and played a big part in the young Cats making it to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament before falling to North Carolina in the Elite Eight. 

“First of all, I’m grateful for the unbelievable season we had,” Fox said. “Although the ending didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, this team came together as a family and we achieved things that a lot of people didn’t think we could because we were so young.”

Fox is the latest in the long list of John Calipari coached point guards to leave after one season in college. He joins the likes of John Wall, Derrick Rose and Brandon Knight with this decision. 

Fox was handed the helms to the UK offense from day one after the departure of the 2016 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award winner Tyler Ulis, but he handled the pressure with ease. His averages of 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals, were marks that only four other freshman in the country met. 

His play throughout the season earned him four SEC Freshman of the Week selections, and he showed that he could do even more once the postseason came around. 

The point guard either led UK in scoring or tied for the team high in that category in all seven of UK’s postseason games. Fox great play during that stretch was highlighted by a 28-point performance against Alabama in the SEC Tournament and a 39-point performance against UCLA in the Sweet 16. 

As a result, Fox was named Most Valuable Player in the SEC Tournament and named to the South Regional Team in the NCAA Tournament.

To wrap his awards, he was named All-SEC First Team by league coaches and the Associated Press and was named a third-team All-American by USA Today and CBS Sports. 

Fox is only the first of this year’s underclassmen that are expected to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft. The other players have until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23 to submit their names.