by Carlena Knight
Barbudan basketballer Kevin ‘Loopy’ Samuel has withdrawn from this year’s NBA draft.
The 24-year-old centre revealed that based on the feedback he received in training sessions with the various teams he thought it was best to withdraw his name.
Despite having removed himself from the July 29 event, the former Sir McChesney George High School student remains optimistic as it is his intention to re-enter the draft next year, this time representing Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) as he graduated this year from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Samuel joins the Eagles after four years at TCU where he redshirted his true freshman year (2017-18) before becoming a mainstay over the next three seasons in the starting line-up. In three years, he blocked 206 shots, a TCU record, while averaging 26.1 minutes per game and posting 823 points and 729 rebounds. His 206 career blocked shots ranked as the ninth most for any active player in the NCAA at the end of last season.
The 6’11” centre said the focus will be “to get in better shape” and show that he is “capable of doing more on the offensive side”.
In April, Samuel shared publicly that he would be entering the 2021 NBA draft with college eligibility.
This past year, he averaged 8.8 points, third best on the TCU team, through 26 games. His 7.8 rebounds ranked third in the Big 12, while his 1.7 blocks per game led the conference. His 62.5 field goal percentage was the best on the team as well.
In 2019-20, he had his best statistical season averaging 10.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, and a league-leading 2.7 blocks per game. His blocks per game also ranked 11th best in the NCAA, while his 85 total blocks were the second most in programme history. His 11 double-doubles ranked second among Big 12 players.