When Kofi Cockburn was with the Illinois basketball program, he brought joy and energy to the game that was infectious.
Kofi always hustled for the Illini. He put in the time and effort into becoming a better basketball player each and every day. People who didn’t watch a lot of Kofi are now getting to experience what kind of player the big man really is on the court.
The 2021 NBA G-League Elite Camp is being held right now, and Kofi was a player picked to participate. The big man is getting his chance to shine, and he has started to show the scouts how much potential he has at the next level.
The camp is comprised of four teams playing against each other on certain days. On Sunday, Kofi suited up for Team Three. They took on Team Four and came away with the 94-90 victory. Kofi started at center for his team and played 18 minutes and 32 seconds. During the time on the court, Kofi dropped 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He also shot 6-of-10 from the field.
There was always one bugaboo with Kofi and that was free throw shooting. His free throw shooting reared its ugly head on Sunday, as Kofi went 1-of-5 from the charity stripe. This problem still has to get solved sometime in the near future.
Besides for the one blemish, Kofi still played well. He was the second-leading scorer on his team and led his squad in blocks. Some national writers are also taking notice of Kofi on the court.
Solid showing from Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn. Strong, physical, competitive rolling to the rim out of PNR and crashing the offensive glass. Non-stop talking, smiling, energy. pic.twitter.com/X9JOpsaaXw
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 20, 2021
Kofi Cockburn was interesting. Thought he got gassed more quickly than he did at Illinois this year. Maybe nerves, maybe increased pace of play? Even so, thought he was the most effective big in the two games. Strength/length/IQ for finding the soft spot in defense stood out.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 20, 2021
If the Illinois basketball big man continues to impress, he is staying in the draft.
I know there is some hope still from some Illini fans that Kofi will come back for one more year. If he continues to perform well at the G-League camp, there is no chance Kofi plays his junior season in Champaign.
Sadly, I am getting vibes from some fans that they want Kofi to not do well so he can come back to Illinois. That is not the right mentality. Of course, I want Kofi back, but I want him to succeed at every level no matter what. I want him to do well at the G-League camp, so he can live out his dream of playing in the NBA.
Kofi is doing great, and every Illinois basketball fan should be happy for the kid. Instead of throwing negative vibes his way, let’s support the legendary big man in his endeavors.