Keita Bates-Diop has officially declared for the 2018 NBA Draft and said he plans to hire an agent, ending his college career. The Ohio State star made the announcement at a Monday press conference hours after his decision was initially reported by ESPN’s Adiran Wojnarowski.
Keita Bates-Diop officially declares for 2018 NBA Draft
Keita Bates-Diop: “These last four years have been the best four years of my life. It’s been a great journey.” pic.twitter.com/mUUiz3DFit
— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) March 26, 2018
“These last four years have been the best four years of my life. It’s been a great journey,” Bates-Diop said. “…I will be declaring for the NBA Draft and I plan on hiring an agent.”
Bates-Diop was the 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year after a breakout season for Ohio State. Bates-Diop averaged 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game as he led a surprising season for the Buckeyes, which ended in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. A fourth-year junior last season, Bates-Diop had one more season of college eligibility remaining but chose to head to the NBA instead.
“You saw the writing on the wall as the season progressed. I’m really, really excited for him, and I fully support his decision,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said.
At 6-foot-7 with a scoring touch, Bates-Diop could be an attractive pro prospect. After missing most of the 2016-17 season with injury, Bates-Diop rebounded with a season that landed him on multiple All-American teams.
Bates-Diop is projected as a second-round pick by NBADraft.net, but he could improve his draft stock with a strong showing at the 2018 NBA Combine in May.