In a not wholly unexpected move, Virginia basketball redshirt junior Mamadi Diakite has joined De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Kyle Guy in declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft.
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I would like to thank God and my wonderful family for the opportunity to play this game at such a prestigious university. Just a boy from Conakry, Guinea!!! This has been an unbelievable experience and I can’t even begin to put it in to words. I have grown so much from my first day on Grounds both on and off the court which is why I am confident in announcing my intentions to declare for the NBA Draft. I know that UVA will always hold a special place in my heart. #ONTHEROAD
Diakite, a 6-9, 228 pound forward, was a huge bonus in the front court for the Hoos as he averaged 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. In the postseason, Diakite upped his game and helped Virginia win its first National Championship in basketball as he averaged 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He also added 16 blocks in the postseason (2.3 per game), including a career high five blocks in the national semifinal against Auburn.
Oh, and he did this:
With the new rules this season, Diakite is free to hire an agent and still retain his last year of eligibility. He will have to make his decision to return to Virginia by May 29 (10 days after the combine).