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Washington State forward Efe Abogidi, already in the NBA draft pool, enters the NCAA’s transfer portal

Washington State forward Efe Abogidi, right, blocks the shot of Oregon guard De’Vion Harmon during a Pac-12 game on Feb. 14 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

Three days after declaring for the NBA draft, Efe Abogidi said his goodbye to Washington State University.

Even if he withdraws from the draft pool, the big man won’t likely be returning to the Pullman school.

Abogidi entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal Friday and announced his decision on Twitter.

“Throughout the last two seasons, I’ve been extremely blessed and thankful to call Pullman my home,” he said during a video posted to his social media channels.

“As a team, we have created a culture surrounding determination, selflessness and grit. We made history and exceeded expectations. I would never regret being a part of this team and family. Once a Coug, always a Coug.

“With that being said, I’ve decided that it’s best for me to start a new chapter in my life.”

Abogidi played a key role over the past two seasons in WSU’s rebuild under coach Kyle Smith. The 6-foot-10 Nigeria native started all 27 games as a true freshman in 2020-21, averaging 8.9 points, 7.2 boards and 1.3 blocks per game.

He improved his offensive efficiency and became a stronger defender this year, posting per-game averages of 8.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks – second in the Pac-12 – while starting 29 of 37 games during WSU’s best season in a decade.

Abogidi landed on the Pac-12’s all-freshman team last in 2020-21 and was an all-defensive team honorable mention this season. He wasn’t often at full strength this year because of an offseason knee injury.

Abogidi became one of the Cougars’ top 15 highest-ranking recruits of the past 20 years, per, when he signed with WSU out of the NBA Global Academy in Australia. Chatter about his pro potential quickly started to surface as Abogidi’s height and athletic play impressed onlookers.

A strong sophomore season was enough to convince him to test the NBA draft waters. He’ll receive feedback from the professionals and has until June 1 to pull out of the draft if he hopes to return to college.

Abogidi thanked the WSU community, his teammates and the Cougars’ staff during his farewell speech.

“You have all nurtured my success here at Washington State,” he said.

Assuming Abogidi has played his final game in crimson and gray, the Cougars have two big men remaining on their roster in Mouhamed Gueye and Dishon Jackson, both of whom are young with high ceilings.

Four players from WSU’s 2021-22 roster have entered the transfer portal.

Junior guard Noah Williams transferred to Washington earlier this week. Reserve guards Ryan Rapp and Jefferson Koulibaly are exploring opportunities elsewhere.