Illinois center Giorgi Bezhanishvili will leave program, pursue professional career
Illinois backup center Giorgi Bezhanishvili is leaving the program, he announced on Thursday afternoon.
Here’s his announcement, which came on his Instagram page:
Giorgi Bezhanishvili is entering the NBA Draft and pursuing the next step of being a pro pic.twitter.com/iQToWtHcTe
— Bret Beherns (@WCIA3Bret) April 8, 2021
Bezhanishvili wraps up a three-year career with the Illini, which included 57 starts. His role diminished in 2020, but he still played a key role on Illinois’ Big Ten Tournament-winning team.
Over a three-year span, Bezhanishvili averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
Bezhanishvili is unlikely to be selected in the NBA draft, but he could carve out a professional career overseas.
Illinois basketball will look a lot different next season. Brad Underwood will be tasked with replacing Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn, Adam Miller and now Bezhanishvili. Seniors Da’Monte Williams and Trent Frazier may also decide to move on from college basketball.
Expect Illinois to continue to be active in the transfer portal. Underwood has already secured a commitment from Florida forward Omar Payne, but more are likely coming. As of now, Illinois has just two commitments from high school prospects in the 2021 class.