Kansas forward Jalen Wilson withdraws from NBA draft and will return to the Jayhawks

Gary Bedore
The Kansas City Star (TNS)
Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) announced Friday that he has removed his name from the NBA draft and will play his sophomore season with the Jayhawks.

LAWRENCE — Jalen Wilson has decided to remove his name from the 2021 NBA Draft pool of early entrants and return to Kansas to continue his college basketball career.

Wilson, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound redshirt sophomore forward from Denton, Texas, made the announcement Friday on Twitter.

He released a Twitter post that read ... "I'm back."

"I first want to thank all those who have helped and supported me through the NBA Draft process. I received great feedback from the teams and know what I need to work on to improve my game. With that, I will be returning to Kansas for my sophomore season and plan on being back on campus soon. I look forward to rejoining my teammates, meeting the newcomers and getting back to work," Wilson wrote both on Twitter and in a KU news release.

Wilson was invited to the NBA G League Elite Camp but not the NBA Combine. He also had some individual meetings with teams. He averaged 11.8 points per game as a redshirt freshman in 2020-21, third best mark on the team. He grabbed a team-leading 7.9 rebounds per contest.

"We are so happy about Jalen's decision to return," KU coach Bill Self said. "He did exactly what the process allowed and received great advice on what he needs to work on moving forward. There is no doubt his experience in testing the NBA will benefit him down the line. Jalen had a terrific freshman year for us, averaging 12 points and leading us with eight rebounds per game, and we look forward to an even more productive sophomore campaign."

Wilson hit 41.4% of his shots, including 33.3% of his threes. He made 63% of his free throws. Overall he averaged 28.3 minutes per game in 29 games for the 21-9 Jayhawks.

Wilson played just two games his freshman season because of a foot injury that required surgery.

Wilson originally signed with Michigan but reopened his recruitment following a coaching change and committed to Kansas in June 2019. He chose KU over North Carolina, Michigan and others.

He had previously signed with Michigan in November of 2018, choosing the Wolverines over KU, Baylor, Marquette, Oklahoma State, UCLA and others.

Wilson had until July 7 to remove his name from the draft pool if he wished to return to KU. Teammates Remy Martin and Ochai Agbaji, who have their names in the draft pool, have not yet announced their final decisions on whether they will stay in the draft or play at KU in 2021-22.