Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham on Thursday announced in a press conference that he will enter the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility.
Cunningham, who is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick, averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 27 games with the Cowboys. He became the first player in program history to be named to the Associated Press All-American First Team.
The 6-foot-8 guard entered the year widely expected to play just one season with the program. His play throughout the year likely solidified his standing as the potential top pick after leading the Cowboys to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Cunningham, who was joined by head coach Mike Boynton Jr. during the press conference, wanted to wait until the time was right to make his decision following the Cowboys’ exit from the tournament.
“I was just blessed to have the opportunity to enter into the draft,” Cunningham said. “I feel like I have done a lot of the work early to be able to be in that position. When the time came, I feel like it was something that I had to do for my future and for my family’s future so I thought it was the best thing to do. I’m excited to step into this next chapter of my life and see how it’s going to go.”
🗣 “He was always a team-first guy. That’s what separates him.”
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) April 1, 2021
With his collegiate career officially over, Cunningham will now look ahead to the NBA draft. He projects to be able to step in immediately and make an impact at the next level given his size, strength and dynamic scoring ability on the court.
Given his skillset, many believe Cunningham has the ability to be a transcendent star in the NBA that can drastically change the course of a franchise.
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