2020 NBA Draft: USC freshman Onyeka Okongwu declares after outstanding campaign

Projected lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu announced on Tuesday that he is declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft after a standout freshman season at USC.

Okongwu wrote on Twitter that his season at USC was “nothing short of spectacular” as he led the Trojans to a 22-9 record while averaging 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.

The Chino, California native anchored USC’s interior defense after arriving on campus as the No. 25 ranked player in the 2019 class, according to 247Sports. He may have even outplayed that ranking as he proved that his relatively short stature for a center did not affect his ability to be a rebounding and defensive menace.

Okongwu is the No. 5 overall player and No. 1 center on the CBS Sports Big Board. At just 19, Okongwu will likely need to expand his offensive range as he matures into an NBA player. He attempted just four 3-pointers as a freshman and made only one. But the one he made was awfully impressive. It came from three-quarter court at the halftime buzzer in a February game against Arizona.

The 6-foot-8 center started his draft announcement letter by thanking the USC coaching staff before addressing his teammates. 

“To my brothers on the team, the love and bond I have for you guys is real and it’s something I will always keep close to me,” Okongwu wrote. “I want to thank the Trojan Family for the unconditional support this year. To the fans at Galen [Center], thank you for the consistent love and support every time I stepped on the court.”

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