Kel’el Ware, the center from IU basketball who made the All-Big Ten team, announces his decision to enter the 2024 NBA draft.

Indiana’s sophomore center, Kel’el Ware, has decided to enter the 2024 NBA draft, as revealed through his social media on Tuesday. This move was largely anticipated given Ware’s impressive performance during the season with the Hoosiers, where he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

Expressing his gratitude on Instagram, Ware thanked Indiana for the opportunity to play for their team and praised the fans for their support. He also acknowledged the coaching staff for their belief in him and their continuous push for improvement both on and off the court.

With Ware’s departure, Indiana now has seven available scholarships for the upcoming 2024-25 season. Ware joined the Hoosiers seeking to boost his draft prospects after facing challenges during his freshman year at Oregon. Despite being initially projected as a first-round draft pick in 2023, his stock plummeted, but his time at Indiana has revitalized his prospects for a professional career.

Reflecting on Ware’s transformation, IU guard Xavier Johnson noted how Ware’s work ethic and determination, which were once questioned, have significantly improved during his time at Indiana under the guidance of Coach Woodson and the team.

Ware posted impressive statistics, averaging 16.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 59.5% from the field. Notably, he showcased his outside shooting ability with a 43.6% success rate from beyond the arc, a skill that intrigues scouts given his towering 7-foot stature. His rebounding prowess ranked second in the Big Ten, just behind Zach Edey.

Indiana coach Mike Woodson commended Ware’s remarkable transformation since the beginning of the season, attributing it to the hard work of the coaching staff, the team’s support, and Ware’s own dedication. Ware’s performance peaked towards the end of the regular season, where he scored 26 or more points in three out of four games during Indiana’s winning streak.

Despite his strong showing, Ware remains uncertain about fully convincing scouts of his first-round potential, especially after a disappointing end to the season with a loss to Nebraska in the Big Ten quarterfinals. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Ware is currently ranked as the 29th-best prospect in this year’s draft.

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