Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn practices at NBA Draft Combine


CHICAGO (SCS) — Illini big man Kofi Cockburn was at the NBA Draft Combine on Friday trying to show he can play in today’s NBA.

He’s one of the tallest players in the draft, at 7-foot, 293 pounds, but his lack of outside play could leave him out on draft night and yearning for the old NBA game a bit.

“I think it’s very unique. Like a lot of people tell me back then, if it was the 1990s, I’d probably be drafted into the top 10. When I look at it now, the game has changed, but he hasn’t changed There are still big men who need to bounce back, who need to play defense, to be heard, to give their guards, to put their guards in a better position to score said Cockburn.

The 7-foot Jamaican was an Associated Press All-America first-team pick last season, and leaves Illinois as the school’s leading scorers and rebounders among three-year-olds and the double-double record holder.

Cockburn was the only player in the nation to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds last season and the only player to place in the top 20 in both categories. He had 17 double-doubles despite missing five games and finished his career with 45, the second most in the country in the last three years. His 1,546 points and 861 rebounds are the most among Illinois three-year-olds.

Cockburn also entered the draft pool in 2020 and 2021 but withdrew both times.


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