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Former Illinois Basketball Star Dominating in KBL



Former Illinois Basketball Star Dominating in KBL
Jan 6, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) grabs a rebound in front of Maryland Terrapins forward Julian Reese (10) during the second half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Former Illinois Basketball Star Dominating in KBL

There is no doubt that Kofi Cockburn was the main catalyst in the Illini’s return to relevance. Ayo Dosunmu was obviously instrumental, however it really is frightening to think about these past few years without Kofi Cockburn. Without him, would Brad have ever come to the realization that the spread offense was not working? Would he put the “deny everything” defense in the trash? Maybe eventually, but Kofi’s presence definitely spearheaded that process. Kofi understandably decided to become a professional basketball player. After 3 extremely successful years, there really was not much more Kofi could prove at the college level.

Kofi had three extremely successful years in Champaign and improved each and every year. Though Illinois was limited in how they could play, Kofi Cockburn was so unbelievably reliable each and every night. During his Junior season, Cockburn could easily be penciled in to give you at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Continued Dominance.

Unfortunately, Kofi did not stick around the NBA. Kofi is a dominant big man, however, his lack of a perimeter game on both sides makes him a bit of a liability. Despite this, Kofi Cockburn is currently dominating in the KBL (Korean Basketball League). Kofi currently averages 25.4 ppg and 11.5 rebounds for the Seoul Thunder. In the KBL, Cockburn is third in points per game and fourth in rebounds per game. Unfortunately, Kofi’s team is off to a slow start in the win column at 2-8.

The KBL is not a slouch league either. Andrew Nicholson, a former lottery pick, currently plays there. Former Kansas star, Dedric Lawson, and Michigan State Star,Deyonta Davis, all currently play in that league.

A Champaign Legend

Kofi Cockburn has always been one of the most beloved personalities in Illinois Basketball history. It is a shame that Kofi’s career has had some poor timing. Kofi would have been a dominant force in a different era of basketball. Additionally, he missed out on the NIL era. After selling some of his merchandise online in the offseason of 2021, Kofi was unfortunately suspended for three games.

Cockburn would have made an absolute killing off of NIL. If NIL existed, he may have considered another year of College basketball. Despite this, Kofi Cockburn is a Champaign legend and his legacy will always remain strong.

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Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.