Columbus — Ohio State’s star freshman Malaki Branham announced on Friday that he would be entering the NBA Draft, with the door open to return to college.
Branham was the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year this season and was the the Buckeyes’ second leading scorer. The Buckeye freshman averaged 13.7 points per game, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. On Jan. 2, Branham scored 35 points against Nebraska — a game that really showed the freshman had arrived.
The St. Vincent-St. Mary alum scored at least 20 points eight times as a freshman, including scoring 23 points against Villanova in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Branham is leaving the door open to return to Columbus, a place he was born and eventually moved from. Many mock drafts around the internet have Branham regarded as a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Coming back to Columbus would give Branham the chance to put together a very special sophomore season. Teammate E.J. Liddell put his name in the drat, so Branham very well could be the top option for Ohio State next season.
On the other hand, the NBA is a very attractive option for anyone that has the chance. It will be interesting to see if Branham will stay in the draft, or elect to return to the Ohio capital.