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Kofi Cockburn to return to Illinois in 2021-22

Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) shoots while defended by Loyola Ramblers center Cameron Krutwig (25) during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) shoots while defended by Loyola Ramblers center Cameron Krutwig (25) during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After testing the NBA draft pool and entering the NCAA transfer portal, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn announced Friday he will return to the Fighting Illini for the 2021-22 basketball season.

Cockburn entered the portal July 1 and withdrew from the draft July 6. In a social media post earlier this week, he listed Illinois, Kentucky and Florida State as his final three options.

CBS Sports ranked Cockburn the No. 1 player available in the portal. Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds last season as the Fighting Illini earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being upset by Loyola Chicago in the second round.

Cockburn was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020-21.

Illinois already lost guard Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA draft and standout freshman Adam Miller, who transferred to LSU. Three assistant coaches also departed the program this offseason.

–Field Level Media