Ohio State freshman star Malaki Branham makes NBA Draft decision
Ohio State star and B1G Freshman of the Year Malaki Branham has made a decision regarding his future. For now, he’s keeping his options open.
Friday, Branham announced via Instagram that he has decided to enter his name into the 2022 NBA Draft. He also told ESPN that he will keep the option open to return to Ohio State for next season.
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“I will be testing the draft waters while keeping my college eligibility intact,” Branham said, per ESPN. “I want to find the best situation and the right fit for me. I am staying in the draft if I’m in the first round because I believe if someone gives me four years to prove myself, I have no doubt that they will love what they’re getting.”
Branham will have until June 1 to make a final decision on his eligibility status.
Ohio State freshman guard Malaki Branham declares for the NBA draft in a statement on Instagram: pic.twitter.com/knlaR6uwws
— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) April 1, 2022
In his first season in Columbus, Branham averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game while shooting nearly 50% from the floor. He also shot 41.6% from 3-point range and 83.3% from the free throw line.
That combination earned Branham a spot on the B1G All-Freshman team and he was named the league’s Freshman of the Year for the 2021-22 season.
Following an up-and-down start to his college career with the Buckeyes, Branham settled in midway through the season. He closed the year strong, posting double-figure scoring performances in 14 of his final 16 points. He scored a season-high 31 in an 86-83 win over Illinois.