Ayo Dosunmu will return to Illinois for his junior year


Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu drives to the hoop during Illinois’ 78-76 win over Iowa at the State Farm Center on March 8th. (COURTESY: CRAIG PESSMAN/UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ATHLETICS)

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CHAMPAIGN – While there is a lot of uncertainty about the upcoming college basketball season, there is one thing that Illinois fans found out on Friday night.

Whether short or long, Ayo Dosunmu is going to be a part of it.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, the guard revealed that he’s pulling his name out of the NBA Draft and will return to the Illini for his junior season.

“My dream is to play in the NBA, but first I need that national championship,” said Dosunmu at the end of the video, declaring his intention to play during the 2020-2021 season.

Dosunmu initially declared for the draft in April after an outstanding sophomore season which he led Illinois back into Big Ten contention for the first time in the Brad Underwood era.

A first team All-Big Ten selection by the media, Dosunmu averaged 16.6 points, 3.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds a game in helping the Illini to a 21-10 record. The team would have qualified for their first NCAA Tournament since 2013 had it not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chicago native who starred at Morgan Park High School was one of two Illinois players to declare for the draft this spring. Center Kofi Cockburn remains in the draft at the moment, but if he should return along with Dosunmu, Illinois would have the opportunity to start the season in the Top 15 at the least.

It would be a welcome sight for a program that got a taste of March success before it was taken away. Now one of the best Illini players in this generation of the program is trying one more time to get it back.

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