Jalen Wilson to Return to Kansas Basketball


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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas forward Jalen Wilson will return to KU for his redshirt-sophomore season in 2021-22. Wilson declared for the NBA Draft in April and announced his return to KU Friday.

“I first want to thank all those who have helped and supported me through the NBA Draft process,” Wilson said. “I received great feedback from the teams and know what I need to work on to improve. With that, I will be returning to Kansas for my sophomore season and plan on being back on campus soon. I look forward to rejoining my teammates, meeting the newcomers and getting back to work.”

“We are so happy about Jalen’s decision to return,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “He did exactly what the process allowed and received great advice on what he needs to work on moving forward. There is no doubt his experience in testing the NBA will benefit him down the line. Jalen had a terrific freshman year for us, averaging 12 points and leading us with eight rebounds per game, and we look forward to an even more productive sophomore campaign.”

As a redshirt freshman in 2020-21, Wilson averaged 11.8 points and led Kansas with 7.9 rebounds per game. The Denton, Texas, native ranked second in the Big 12 with 7.9 boards per game and is also second on the KU freshman records list, trailing only Joel Embiid’s 8.1 rebound average in 2013-14. Wilson was named to both the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team and the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in 2021. He was second in the conference with nine double-doubles and led KU in rebounds in 18 games and scoring five times.

Kansas went 21-9 in 2020-21 and placed second in the Big 12 with a 12-6 league record. The Jayhawks advanced to their NCAA-record 31st-consecutive NCAA Tournament in 2021, a streak that started in 1990.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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