LEXINGTON — Kentucky landed a future post player when Wake Forest junior Olivier Sarr announced plans to transfer to the school on Wednesday.
Sarr, a 7-foot center who averaged 13.7 points and nine rebounds per game last season, chose the Wildcats over Duke, Gonzaga, Florida State and Baylor.
Sarr will have to sit out next season because of transfer rules. He plans to petition for a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately next season.
“I felt that was the best fit and the best opportunity for me,” he told ESPN on Wednesday. “Being able to play for that great program and showcase my winning drive on that stage. Coach (John Calipari) made me understand that I was needed (at Kentucky).”
Sarr entered the NCAA transfer portal after Danny Manning was fired late last month.
The Demon Deacons hired East Tennessee State coach Steve Forbes last week and the new staff couldn’t persuade Sarr to finish out his collegiate career at Wake Forest.
“With everything that has happened in the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve had a lot to think about and consider,” he said. “If I’m being honest, it’s been an emotional struggle for me. Coach Manning and the staff are family. After thinking deeply about it, talking with my support system and weighing my future, I just didn’t feel like I could be at my best by returning to Wake Forest. … I will always be a fan of Wake Forest … BBN, I can’t wait to get started.”
Sarr scored 25 points against Duke and added 30 points and 17 rebounds in a game against Notre Dame last season.