Kofi Cockburn responds to 'one more year' chants during Illinois' win vs. Iowa
Kofi Cockburn is going to be remembered as one of the best players to put on an Illinois basketball uniform. He’s proven to be one of the most dominant forces in the B1G during his career in Champaign.
Thanks to his intimidating presence on the floor, Cockburn was able to help lead the Fighting Illini to a share of the B1G regular season title on Sunday. The junior scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Illinois’ 74-72 victory over Iowa.
With Wisconsin losing to Nebraska earlier in the day, the door was cracked for Illinois to earn a share of the B1G regular season title and the No. 1 overall seed in the B1G Tournament. Mission accomplished.
Fans began chanting “One more year!” at Cockburn, who is likely to depart the program for the NBA once the basketball season comes to a conclusion. But the center had an honest response to hearing that throughout the State Farm Center on Sunday.
“I almost said it too. That was special, man,” Cockburn said after the game, per Illini Inquirer. “Just all the emotions and all the things that were going through my mind in that moment, cutting that net down and having so much pride. It just felt right. I love being here. Everybody I associate with here has made me feel really special and made me know how much I mean to this program. That moment was special, man.”
Cockburn has averaged a double-double in his third season with the program. He’s scoring 21 points and collecting 10.6 rebounds per game for the Illini. He’s a candidate for the B1G Player of the Year after an outstanding season.
It’s unlikely Cockburn returns to Illinois next season but there’s still plenty of basketball left for Cockburn and the Illini this year.