The Illini basketball star announced Friday that he will be returning to Champaign to play a third season. Cockburn withdrew from the NBA Entry Draft and entered the transfer portal on July 1.
Kentucky, Florida State and Illinois were the final three schools he was considering. Kentucky was initially the favorite, as the Wildcats hired Illinois’ former assistant coach Orlando Antigua, who Cockburn said was “the reason” he went to Illinois in the first place.
The Jamaican native has been called the most dominant big man in the country and has the numbers to back it up. Last season, he earned first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-American honors after averaging 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He shot 65.4% from the field and had 16 double-doubles.