Tai Wynyard Portrait

Tai Wynyard

As the 2018-2019 roster for the UK men’s basketball team continues to be shaped, it will be without Tai Wynyard as the sophomore from New Zealand will be granted a full release from UK, allowing him to transfer elsewhere.

Wynyard made only eight appearances last season, due to injuries and a suspension for violating team rules. Wynyard scored in only two of those contests, scoring four points each against UIC and Monmouth.

“This decision wasn’t an easy one for me to make and I appreciate the commitment and support Coach Cal and the staff gave me in reaching it. My goals haven’t changed,” Wynyard said in a press release. “After meeting with Cal, something that he always talks about is doing what’s best for the individual. Everyone is on a different path. Although that path will be somewhere else, I’ll never forget this place. From day one, beginning with my first home game vs. Louisville in 2015, this place has shown me nothing but love. I want to thank you for your support. Kentucky will always hold a special place in my heart.” 

Wynyard was handed the suspension for reportedly attending on-campus parties with an armed bodyguard. The report was never confirmed or denied by head coach John Calipari. 

Despite the rough ending to Wynyard’s career at UK, Calipari still hopes Wynyard finds success elsewhere.

“We haven’t had a lot of players transfer, but when a player comes to me and asks for a fresh start, I will always support them,” Calipari said in the press release. “We talk all the time about this being a new experience for our players, but I believe it was even tougher for Tai because of where he came from. To come to a new country in the middle of the season and try to carve out a role was difficult, but I’m proud of Tai for the person he’s grown into.” 

With Wynyard’s departure, that leaves PJ Washington, Nick Richards, Sacha Killeya-Jones, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel to man the post for UK. However, none of those players have announced their indications next season, as it’s possible some could declare for the NBA Draft or transfer also.