Keita Bates-Diop, a.k.a. KBD, forward for the Ohio State University will declare for the NBA Draft – so the rumors are….

This certainly should not be a surprise – considering that KBD had a breakout year in this past season 2017-18 – following an injured fueled prior season (only playing in nine games) in the 2016-17 season due to a stress fracture in his leg that eventually led to surgery

Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots this season. He found the double figures section of the scorecard in 32 of the Buckeye’s 34 games, including scoring a career-high 35 points against Illinois in February. This outstanding performance for the fourth-year junior led to his being named the Big Ten Player of the Year and second-team All-American by many organizations. KBD ended his Buckeyes’ career with 28 points and three rebounds as the Scarlet and Gray surged from what initially appeared as a serious spanking from Gonzaga, only to turn it into a thriller in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32.

At 6-foot-7 and possessing a “blessed” wing-span, Keita is viewed as a versatile weapon at the NBA level that can handle the duties of many positions. He is projected as a late first-round pick in June’s NBA Draft.

College underclassmen have until April 22 to declare for the draft. They can go through training and the combine in May and then have until June 11 to withdraw their name from and retain their eligibility. The draft will be held June 21. I confess I like this process.

I personally would love to see KBD return to Columbus, but that’s a selfish nod on my part. KBD has earned this tremendous opportunity. He should not gamble on another injury that could wipe out his season, jump ship, and head for the NBA. As a Knicks fan, I would love to see Keita in Madison Square Garden, but, unfortunately, the Knicks brass – has, well – no brass in trading down …..

Good luck Keita – you have deserved this moment. I wish you the best – and, just go have some fun. We in Columbus have enjoyed watching you.