Oscar Chipuiy to the Pacers as a free agent for NBA: UK Wildcats Basketball

Kentucky Wildcats legend Oscar Chipuis lives now NBA Draft.

After not being selected in the 2023 NBA draft, Tshiebwe was signed by Indiana Pacers to a two-way contract (go here for an explanation of two-way deals).

Shams El Sharania, an Athletic player, broke the news first.

While Tshiebwe certainly hoped to get drafted, it’s still great to see him make his NBA dreams come true!

Before questioning Tshiebwe’s final decision not to return to Lexington, it’s important to understand that he knows his path won’t be easy.

Showing what he can bring to the team during summer league play will be an important step in Tshiebwe’s quest to carve out a role on the NBA’s laboratory roster. There were flashes of dominance during the NBA Combine, which he’ll aim to build on this summer.

The former 5-star prospect went into this understanding that it would take some serious, intentional development to make an impact beyond fellowship level.

It’s hard to imagine a player like Chibui who doesn’t put in the effort necessary to succeed on the basketball court, no matter the level of competition.

Regardless of whether he was in the NBA or some other professional league, I expected him to have a long and profitable career.

Oscar Cheppui will become one of the best players to ever wear blue and white. His National Season MVP was something Kentucky fans may never see in their lives.

During his two seasons at Lexington, Chipui kept the statistician busy more than that. Including his time at West Virginia, the big man pulled a jaw-dropping 1,317 rebounds and was an automatic double double.

Last season, Chibui led the Cats with 16.5 points and a nation-best 13.7 boards per game. He is second in double-doubles (48), sixth in all-time career rebounds (952), and 48th in career scoring (1,117) in program history.

It’s disappointing that Tshiebwe hasn’t tasted much success in the NCAA Tournament, despite playing at a star level.

In a loss against St. Peter’s in 2022, the hard No. 34 played 43 minutes, grabbed 16 boards, and scored 30 points.

In the Cats’ recent championship loss to Kansas Statee, Chibui had 25 points and 18 rebounds.

The bottom line is that the Big O will go down as one of the best ever and should only be remembered fondly.

The Big Blue Nation wishes you all the best, Oscar.

Go get them, Paige!

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