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Ohio State Forward E.J. Liddell Officially Declares For 2022 NBA Draft

The two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection is widely projected to be a first-round pick this summer.

Although it was inevitable once he participated in Senior Day festivities earlier this month, Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell officially announced on Friday evening that he will forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2022 NBA Draft.

“I am going to start this off by thanking Buckeye Nation,” Liddell said in a note posted to Twitter. “These past three years have given me some of the best moments of my life. Being able to have our fans back in the Schott made this year extra fun!

“Thanks to my family and friends for always being there through the highs and lows. I love you with all my heart. To my teammates, I appreciate you all – we have built a bond that will never be broken. The times we spent together will never be forgotten and I’m grateful to call you all my brothers.

“Choosing to play for Coach (Chris) Holtmann has been the best decision for me, not only as a player but as a person. Thank you for believing in me, coach. To our trainers, managers and the rest of our coaching staff, I appreciate you all for allowing me to carry on the great traditions and culture of being a Buckeye. Most importantly, thank you God for everything. Without you, none of this would have been possible.

“I will cherish the time and commitment of Buckeye Nation. I hope the feeling is mutual!”

A former four-star prospect from Belleville, Ill., Liddell averaged 14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 92 career games (62 starts) with the Buckeyes from 2019-22. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and third-team All-American this past season.

Liddell tested the NBA waters after his sophomore year, but returned to school for another season in hopes of improving his stock. He then averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 rebounds per game, becoming just the third player in the last 30 years to average those numbers over the course of a full season, joining Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan in 1996-97 and Rider’s Jason Thompson in 2007-08.

A team captain this past season, Liddell became the 60th player in school history to top 1,000 career points in a win at Minnesota in late January. He finished his career with 1,298 points, good for 32nd on Ohio State’s all-time scoring list, and 564 rebounds, becoming the 33rd player in school history to top 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.

“I’m really excited for E.J. as he begins his NBA career,” Holtmann said in a statement. “He has developed and grown significantly as a player every single year as a Buckeye, and that will continue to be the case as an NBA player. E.J. has represented our program at the highest level with his excellent play, leadership and of course, his trademark smile. E.J. will always be a Buckeye. We love you, my man.”

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