Busting Brackets

Donovan Clingan Leaving UConn Basketball for 2024 NBA Draft

Success breeds its own level of confidence and nothing fosters more swagger in an athlete than winning a National Championship. In the case of UConn center and big man Donovan Clingan, multiply that confidence twice as he prepares to step away from an ascending college hoops dynasty in Storrs, CT and set fooot onto the "big man's court" in the National Basketball Association. Such is the nature of collegiate athletics where success on the field or court can instantly translate into a lucrative professional contract and in a sports world driven by forces such as the NIL and professional leagues, all fans and pundits alike can do it hope these athletes find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

It shouldn't really come as any type of surprise that UConn big man Donovan Clingan has decided to test the waters and declare himself for the NBA draft this year. With two consecutive NCAA basketball rings to wear, many fans and pundits alike would be surprised if he didn't test his mettle and roll the dice with the National Basketball Association. The sophomore sensation has not doubt made a name for himself in the world of men's college hoops and his 7'2" presence is felt both figuratively and literally wherever his playing days take him in the future.

Clingan's size and physical prowess no doubt will make him a potential Top Five draft prospect and his draft stock certainly isn't hampered by coming off of back-to-back National Championship teams. One of the key questions that remain about Clingan's future status as an NBA star remains surrounding his health.

Clingan spent much of December and January this season on the bench with a foot injury and didn't really regain a 100% bill of health until the NCAA tournament revved up its engines in the latter part of March. However, if Clingan suffered any residual injury issues, it didn't show by the time of the Elite Eight as he scored 22 points, had ten rebounds, and five blocked shots in UConn's big win over Illinois en route to the National Championship game last week.

Donovan Clingan will certainly pose a tempting draft prospect for many NBA teams who are looking for a big man to help reverse their current season woes. When Clingan is healthy, his stock certainly rises and with an average of 12.4 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game during the 2023-24 season, a number of NBA teams will undoubtedly take the gamble and bet on Clingan being able to help them next season.

Although Clingan doesn't qualify for the "one and done" moniker that's becoming more and more prevalent in college basketball, maybe a new one should be created for the "two and through" players who are emerging from the recent NCAA tournament.

Next. Top 50 early transfer commits. Top 50 early transfer commits. dark

It will be interesting to see if Donovan Clingan can make good on his decision to enter the NBA draft and where this new journey will take his basketball career.