We already knew Frank Kaminsky flirted with the idea of turning pro this spring before ultimately deciding to return to Wisconsin.
Now we have a better idea of what made the 7-foot center unwilling to forgo his final year of college.
Though the chance to finally have money in his pocket and to achieve his lifelong goal of playing in the NBA appealed to Kaminsky, he wrote in his blog Wednesday that the opportunity to contend for a national title as a senior at Wisconsin was equally enticing. Ultimately, Kaminsky decided that he couldn't sacrifice his senior year when he wasn't certain to be selected in the first round and might have spent next season in the D-League or in Europe rather than the NBA.
"I am at the pinnacle of my basketball playing career, at least in my eyes," Kaminsky wrote. "I know the NBA has their crazy fans and all, but if you look at all of their games, there are games when teams like the Bobcats get hardly any fans, and it looks flat out boring. At the Kohl Center, we play in front of nearly 17,000 fans every single time we step onto the court. When we travel, we play in front of sell out crowds who absolutely hate us. Not because of who is on the team, but because of where we go to school. Who could leave that?
"Next, my teammates have become my family away from home. Admittedly, a dysfunctional family at times, but a family nonetheless. I have become extremely close with almost every player on the team. If I am ever lucky enough to find a potential wife, I am sure I met who would be my best man at the wedding, my roommate Jordan Smith.
"Last but not least, I am 100 percent positive we are going to have a great team next year. We lose only one player from a team that made it to a Final Four, and everyone will have another year of experience."
The return of Kaminsky and fellow NBA prospect Sam Dekker ensures that Wisconsin will indeed have a great chance to get back to the Final Four and perhaps even win the national championship. The Big Ten favorite Badgers return every rotation player besides shooting guard Ben Brust next season, add promising freshman Ethan Happ and have some rising sophomores, Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, who could be ready to take on increased roles.
Kaminsky played his way onto the NBA's radar this past season by taking advantage of increased playing time during the regular season and blossoming into March's breakout star in the NCAA tournament. He averaged 18.5 points per game in Wisconsin's four NCAA tournament victories and had 28 and 11 in the Badgers' Elite Eight upset of Wisconsin, earning MVP of the West Region in the process.
"He has very good footwork to go with inside-outside scoring ability," a Western Conference NBA scout told Yahoo Sports before the Final Four, comparing Kaminsky to ex-Duke forward and current Los Angeles Lakers reserve Ryan Kelly. "I wouldn't say he has jumped onto the first-round radar, but he has definitely jumped from off the radar completely to being a draftable player. It would be wise for him to return to school, bulk up and improve on the defensive end and on the glass."
Ultimately, Kaminsky followed that advice, though it took him a few weeks to make the decision.
"I sat down and thought about it for a long time, and I kept coming back to the same exact point," Kaminsky wrote. "I don't think I would be able to live with the regret of skipping my last year of college to be a potential D-League player or end up in Europe. I have no doubt in my mind that I would have been drafted. I believe that one day I will be put on an NBA roster, but that doesn't happen right away for most people. Especially for a 7 foot white kid with average athleticism."
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