Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson staying in NBA Draft

Mar 6, 2021; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Isaiah Jackson (23) runs down the court during the second half of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky freshman forward Isaiah Jackson announced Friday he is hiring an agent and will remain in the 2021 NBA Draft.

A projected lottery pick, the 6-foot-10 Jackson averaged 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots in 25 games (18 starts) for the Wildcats in 2020-21.

“I feel like I’m ready,” Jackson told ESPN. “All the feedback from teams has been good. People are saying lottery, which is what I wanted. That’s one of the main reasons I’m declaring so my agent can get involved and speak on my behalf in terms of negotiating and making sure he can get me to the right team.”

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He shot 54.0 percent from the field, scored in double figures eight times and made the SEC All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams.

In a Twitter post Friday, Jackson said he planned to sign with CAA.

“This is going to be a big burden off my shoulders,” Jackson told ESPN. “That’s all anyone wants to know. A lot of Kentucky fans are telling me to stay every day. I just want to be able to do what I want instead of being restricted. I want to do camps and autograph signings to get some money in my pocket. In order to set that up I need to be fully declared.”

The draft is scheduled for July 29.

–Field Level Media