Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu declares for NBA draft

by Mariah Guzman

When Illinois basketball celebrated its senior night last month, first-team All-American guard Ayo Dosunmu was included in the celebration with the expectancy that he would be leaving for the draft.

On Tuesday, Dosunmu confirmed on ESPN’s “The Jump.” that he would be forgoing his last year of college eligibility by declaring for the NBA Draft and hiring an agent. The NBA Draft will be held on July 29. Dosunmu is projected to be a first-round draft pick.

“What makes me think I’m ready for the NBA is last year I went through the draft process and I got so much feedback from nearly every NBA team,” Dosunmu said on ESPN. “I just wanted to turn what they said into constructive criticism, and I just worked at it. I improved on pretty much on all of my offensive and defensive stats. I gained seven to eight pounds. Shout out to Coach Fletch [Adam Fletcher]. We put a lot of work into the weight room. My coaches, they helped me each and every day, long nights in the gym. I just think that I see the game better. I see the game much differently as a junior at 21 years old. I put so much work into my film, that’s what makes me believe I’m ready for the NBA.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I’ve put so much work into my game at a young age, so many long nights, long hours and even these three years at Illinois, so many film sessions with my teammates and my coaching staff. I don’t think this it’s  [about pursuing] a lifestyle. I think it’s just a passion and the mindset of me wanting to be great and play with the best players in the world.”

Watch the full ESPN interview here:

Ayo Dosunmu will leave Illinois with noteable statistics. Dosunmu recorded a 47 percent career field goal average, a total of 1,504 points (20.1 average for the 2021 season), 435 rebounds (2021 average of 6.3), and 351 total assists (2021 average of 5.3).