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Kobe Brown declares for NBA Draft while retaining his final year of eligbility

The Tigers 6’8” star announced via Twitter that he is making a run at the highest level while maintaining his one year of eligibility.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Princeton vs Missouri Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Brown’s fabled Missouri Tiger career, which ended with the program’s first tournament win since 2010, could be inching toward a close. On Sunday morning, he announced he is declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft. Brown mentioned on Twitter he will maintain his last year of eligibility in the event things don’t go according to plan.

Brown was initially recruited by former Tiger head coach Cuonzo Martin as the 239th-ranked player in the country in 2019. He averaged around 18 minutes per game in his freshman year and quickly developed into a regular starter for Martin’s squad by the time his junior season rolled around.

After Martin was fired due to a disappointing 2021-22 season where the Tigers finished 12-21, Brown decided to stay instead of entering the transfer portal when Mizzou announced new Head Coach Dennis Gates.

Under Gates, not only did Brown post career-highs in points per game and field goal percentage, he augmented his three-point percentage from 20.6% to 45.5%. Brown was the key piece to a Tiger team that went 25-10 in 2022-23 and reached the SEC Tournament semi-final alongside earning an NCAA Tournament bid.

As far as his future in the NBA, ESPN’s latest Mock Draft has Brown going 43rd overall to the San Antonio Spurs. While most projection sites have him as a second-rounder, his massive improvement from 2021-22 to 2022-23 should have plenty of NBA execs keen on picking him up.

If this is where the road ends for Kobe Brown as a Tiger, he finishes his career averaging 10.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, and 1.7 assists per game.