Junior forward Mamadi Diakite will return to Virginia for his final season of eligibility after withdrawing his name from NBA Draft consideration late Wednesday night.
“I am excited to announce that after testing the waters and getting great exposure and encouraging feedback, I have decided to return to the University of Virginia for my senior year,” he wrote on Instagram. “I can’t wait to join my coaches and teammates and get to work as we try to win another one.”
Diakite had previously declared for the draft April 17 but under new NCAA rules is able to return to college basketball as long as he withdrew from the draft by May 29.
This season, Diakite became a key player for the Cavaliers, averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and starting Virginia’s last five NCAA Tournament games. He helped the Cavaliers reach the Final Four by hitting a buzzer-beater against Purdue in the Elite Eight to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Junior guards Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy and sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter will be remaining in the NBA Draft. With those three gone, Diakite will be expected to take on a heavier load on offense for Virginia in the 2019-20 season.