Toppin says he is ready to go pro

Published 12:56 pm Monday, April 3, 2023


University of Kentucky

Kentucky men’s basketball senior Jacob Toppin has declared for the 2023 NBA Draft and will forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility.

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“Before we even start, I want to thank God, because without Him none of this would be possible,” Toppin said. “I want to thank my mom, because without her sacrifice me nor my brother would be the men we are today. I want to thank all my family and friends for supporting me along this journey.

“To Big Blue Nation: ever since I was a kid, it’s always been a dream of mine to be able to play at the highest level of basketball,” Toppin continued. “I came to Kentucky to chase that dream and in my time here, I’ve grown tremendously not only as a player but as a man. This place has taught me things that I will take with me for the rest of my life. For that, I want to thank my coaches and my teammates and most importantly the fans. Your support and passion are things I’ll never forget, and I will carry with me. It has been a memorable time for me, and Kentucky will forever hold a special place in my heart. I’ve loved my time here, but I’m ready to finally fulfill my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. With that being said I will be entering my name into the 2023 NBA Draft. Go Big Blue!”

The longest tenured member of the Wildcats, Toppin saw action in 86 career games at UK and started in 37. He averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his UK career.

“I’m excited for Jacob to take this next step of chasing his dream of becoming a professional player,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Jacob has steadily improved every season and is ready for this next step. He has all of the tools to be successful in that league and is mentally prepared beyond measure to handle anything that comes his way.”

Toppin saved his best season for last with a breakout senior campaign. Just 19 games into the season, he had already set career highs in points, rebounds, assists, minutes played, field goals and free throws made. The Brooklyn, New York, native scored a career-high 24 points against Louisville and racked up eight double-doubles.

He finished the season averaging 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He had 23 double-figure scoring efforts and drained 50% of his 3-point attempts during league play.

The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 15-21 and the 2023 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22.