<
>

Nick Richards is fourth Kentucky player to enter NBA draft

play
Richards gets the putback dunk (0:19)

Keion Brooks Jr. misses the 6-foot jumper but Nick Richards saves the day by slamming it back down for Kentucky. (0:19)

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky forward Nick Richards will enter the NBA draft and forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility by signing with an agency.

Richards, a 6-foot-11 junior, is the fourth Wildcats starter to make the decision to enter the draft. He is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 14.0 points per game and was named a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by The Associated Press and league coaches.

Richards, who is ranked No. 59 on ESPN's Top 100 draft prospects, ranked fourth nationally in shooting at 64% and made the SEC all-defensive squad with averages of 7.8 rebounds and 2.13 blocks per game.

He started 30 of 31 games to help the Wildcats (25-6) earn the SEC regular-season title before the postseason was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Richards, from Kingston, Jamaica, thanked Kentucky coaches and teammates for his steady improvement in a statement on Tuesday. He said it's time to pursue his ultimate dream of being an NBA player and added, "I'm prepared for this step because of my time at Kentucky."

Richards' announcement comes a day after leading scorer Immanuel Quickley declared for the draft. Guards Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey also turned pro.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.