After deciding to stay in the NBA Draft, Auburn's Isaac Okoro is the first one-and-done player in program history.
The freshman may have had his season cut short due to COVID-19, but he impressed on the Plains in his short time. At the end of the season, Okoro was named Second-Team All-SEC and was a member of the SEC All-Defensive and SEC All-Freshman team.
He is just the sixth player in SEC history to be named to an all-conference team, all-defensive team and all-freshman team in the same season.
On Monday, Okoro announced via a letter to the Auburn Family that he was going to stay in the NBA Draft.
Here is Okoro's letter to the fans:
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Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine. Thanks to hard work and the support of Auburn basketball, including you the fans, I’m now in a position to achieve that dream. I have decided to keep my name in the draft and focus on the next chapter of my life.
The decision didn’t come easy. I love Auburn. It was the second school to offer me, and Coach Pearl and his staff never let up on recruiting me. I could have gone anywhere, but I wanted a school who wanted me for me, a school where I could go in and play my game and where they would have faith in me. I found that and so much more at Auburn.
During my recruitment, BP was honest with me and overdelivered with his promises. I trusted him and the staff to help take my game to new heights, and they did just that. Simply put, Auburn put me in the best position to succeed both on and off the court and gave me the confidence I needed to take my game to the next level.
Somebody recently told me that I could be the first one-and-done player in program history. Wow. What a blessing. It just shows all the hard work I have put in day in and day out from a very young age. I thank God for all the blessings he has given me.
Looking back, this didn’t happen overnight. I had a lot of people in my corner who helped me get here, beginning with my parents. Every day I wake up and I think about helping my family and helping them live a better life. It’s what drives me to push past the 6 a.m. workout or push past the extra rep or extra set.
I also would not be in this position without BP, Coach Bowman and the staff. They were with me 24/7 this past year. Anytime I needed help – whether it was breaking down film, learning something about a specific play, being in the gym late nights or early mornings – they were there.
My teammates - my brothers - they played a big part, too. They pushed me to be better every day. I believe this team had a chance to do something special in March.
But that is not how I will remember this season. I will remember the good times – the feeling of coming out every home game and playing in front of The Jungle. It didn’t matter if we were winning or losing, you never let up. You always brought the energy. There is no better place to play than at Auburn Arena in front of the loudest, most passionate fans in college basketball.
So to the Auburn Family, thank you. You took me in and showed me love from the first day I stepped on campus. Just know that in return I gave all my effort every time I stepped on the court.
As I move on, I feel like this is only the beginning for Auburn basketball. People from across the country are starting to recognize what this program is doing down here. Auburn is an everything school, and I’m honored to help bring credibility to the basketball program. There is not a doubt in my mind Auburn is set up for long-term success, and with BP in charge, it’s only a matter of time before there will be a national championship banner hanging from the rafters.
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