Bam Adebayo Signs with Agent, Will Officially Leave Kentucky for 2017 NBA Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19:  Edrice Adebayo #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts to his dunk in the second half against the Wichita State Shockers during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Center Bam Adebayo has hired an agent and will officially leave the Kentucky Wildcats to enter the 2017 NBA draft, he announced Tuesday.

Adebayo originally declared for the draft April 5 without hiring an agent, which meant he had the option to return to school.

Adebayo said the following Tuesday with regard to his decision to remain in the draft, per Deb Moore of UKAthletics.com:

After talking with Coach [John Calipari], the staff and my family, I have decided it's in my best interest to remain in the draft.

This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one. It was everything I wanted when I decided to come to Kentucky. It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be a better man on and off the court. I have improved so much since the beginning of the season thanks to the hard work of the coaching staff. They helped me with every step of the process along the way and they never gave up on me.

I also want to thank my teammates. I couldn't have asked for a better group to grow with. We were all like brothers. I also want to thank the fans for their support and everything they do for us. Their passion is like nothing I've ever seen before.

In one season with the Wildcats, Adebayo averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

He was part of a Kentucky team that won the SEC regular-season and tournament championships before falling to eventual champion North Carolina in the Elite Eight.

Adebayo will join Kentucky teammates De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe as potential first-round picks.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN.com's Chad Ford projected that Adebayo will be taken No. 17 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.

For more news, rumors and related stories about Bam Adebayo and the NBA, check out the NBA stream on Bleacher Report's app.  

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