UK’s Malik Monk Joins Teammate De’Aaron Fox In Leaving For 2017 NBA Draft


Kentucky star Malik Monk is heading to the 2017 NBA Draft. He will join teammate De’Aaron Fox in moving onto the next level.


Another round of reloading is about to commence in Lexington for Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

A day after freshman guard De’Aaron Fox declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, fellow first-year guard Malik Monk announced that he also plans to go pro, forcing Calipari to find a new starting backcourt for the 2017-18 college basketball season.

The NBA Draft will take place on June 22, and college players have until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23 to submit their names for entrance into the league’s event.

Monk was one of the most exciting players throughout the 2016-17 college hoops season, enjoying several historic individual performances highlighted by explosive scoring runs and high-flying dunks. He finished his only collegiate season averaging 19.8 points per game and reaching double-figure scoring in all but two contests.

“Malik is a special talent,” Calipari said. “With Malik you’re talking about a superior athlete with skills and an ability to score that make him truly unique. What I love about Malik is that, as the season went on, he learned how to help our team win by doing more than just score. He became an efficient player who I believe will make an immediate impact at the next level.”

Monk became UK’s all-time leading freshman scorer with 754 points, including a freshman record 47 points vs. North Carolina in December. He is the only freshman in program history with four 30-point games, and six times this season he scored at least 20 points in a half.

Calipari is used to replacing one-and-done players, but there’s no question that the Wildcats are losing a ton of production from this season’s squad. As Monk’s backcourt mate, Fox averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game to help lead the Wildcats to an SEC title and an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. He became the first freshman to lead the SEC in assists since John Wall.

Since Calipari joined UK before the 2009-10 season, the school has produced a remarkable 28 NBA Draft picks over seven years. Included in the 28 are 21 first-round selections, featuring 14 lottery picks. Of the 18 players under Calipari who declared for the pro game after one season, all 18 were drafted in the first round.

MORE: North Carolina Wins National Championship