Cockburn, a 7-footer from Jamaica, was named a consensus second-team All-American center after his sophomore year with the Fighting Illini. He initially entered the NBA Draft, but eventually pulled his name out and entered the transfer portal.
Earlier this week, he revealed his three options: a return to Illinois for his junior season, or a move to Florida State or Kentucky. Illinois assistant coach Orlando Antigua’s move to Kentucky was a factor in the decision, as Cockburn admitted he was the reason that he committed to the Illini, and that UK was a “serious option.” Reporting out of Kentucky would shoot that down later on in the process though.
Now, Kofi Cockburn has confirmed his return to Illinois. He posted a hype video that should have Fighting Illini fans very excited for what’s to come in 2021-22.
KING’S BACK 🦍 pic.twitter.com/NooK3q9BKp
— Kofi Cockburn (@kxng_alpha) July 16, 2021
Kofi Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season, helping Illinois earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The team was considered a leading national championship favorite, but wound up getting upset by eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago in the second round. Cockburn had 21 points and nine boards in that game.
He’ll certainly be looking for a deep run next March, and Illinois basketball is poised for another huge season with today’s news.
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