Immanuel Quickley drafted by the OKC Thunder, traded to Knicks

Quickley headed to play in New York

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UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – He was expected to be a second round pick, but he ended up getting picked in the first round.

Reigning SEC Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley is headed to the NBA. On Wednesday, Quickley was drafted to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 25th pick, but was traded to the New York Knicks.

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Quickley experienced one of the biggest jumps from his freshman to sophomore year that a Cat during the Cal era has experienced. He was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. Quickley was also named All-SEC First Team.

They Maryland native was tabbed an All-American by The Athletic, CBS Sports and Bleacher Report, all of which awarded him third-team honors. He also was named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association District IV Player of the Year and USBWA All-District IV Team. Quickley was selected for the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 20 Second Team.

In the SEC, he was a three-time SEC Player of the Week and the first Wildcat in school history to win in back-to-back weeks. This is where it gets even more impressive, Quickley improved in every major statistical category in his sophomore season. This while leading the SEC regular-season champions in scoring (16.1 points per game), 3-pointers (62) and 3-point shooting (42.8%).

As Kentucky won 17 of 20 games to close the season, he became the team’s go-to player with countless 3-pointers and free throws in some of the season’s biggest moments, especially late in games. He scored in double figures in 20 straight games to end the season, the best stretch by a Wildcat since Malik Monk’s 30 consecutive games in 2016-17, totaling 20 or more points in six of the last 13 games. Lastly, he averaged 18.6 points per game with 50 3-pointers on 47.2% shooting from long range during the 20-game run

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com