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Sports >  WSU basketball

Washington State big man Efe Abogidi withdraws from NBA draft pool, is expected to sign G League contract

UPDATED: Wed., June 1, 2022

Washington State forward Efe Abogidi warms up prior to a game against Oregon State on Feb. 28 in Corvallis, Oregon. Abogidi withdrew from the NBA draft pool Wednesday.  (Associated Press)
Washington State forward Efe Abogidi warms up prior to a game against Oregon State on Feb. 28 in Corvallis, Oregon. Abogidi withdrew from the NBA draft pool Wednesday. (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Efe Abogidi withdrew from the NBA draft pool. So, is the high-flying forward returning to school?

Apparently not.

Abogidi, a starter for Washington State throughout the past two seasons, backed out of the draft on Wednesday – the final day for collegiate athletes to do so and preserve their eligibility – according to a Twitter report from CBS college hoops insider Jon Rothstein. But Abogidi’s NCAA playing days appear to be over.

The 6-foot-10 Nigeria native is expected to sign a contract with G League Ignite, per Jeff Goodman of Stadium. A source with knowledge of Abogidi’s situation corroborated the report.Ignite, a developmental program affiliated with the NBA’s G League, offers an alternative route to the pros for players forgoing college ball. Should he join the Bay Area-based organization, Abogidi will compete against other NBA hopefuls next season while earning a salary and boosting his stock ahead of the 2023 draft.

Last month, Abogidi had reportedly whittled down his list of potential college landing spots to Maryland, Arizona, Florida and WSU. He declared for the NBA draft April 12, entered the NCAA’s transfer portal three days later, then spent the following seven weeks meeting with NBA franchises, training in Florida and weighing his transfer options. Abogidi was not invited to either of the combines, staged by the NBA and G League, and his name hadn’t appeared on any mock drafts.

Abogidi captured a starting role as a true freshman at WSU in 2020 and improved steadily as a sophomore last season. Abogidi produced myriad highlights with his towering dunks and soaring blocks.

He was named to the All-Pac-12 freshman team last year and earned an all-conference defensive team honorable mention this season. Abogidi averaged 8.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game as a Cougar.

Born in Delta State, Nigeria, Abogidi played for the NBA Academy in Africa before prepping at the NBA Global Academy in Australia. A three-star prospect (247Sports), Abogidi signed with WSU in November 2019 as one of the program’s top-20 recruits of the past two decades.

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