Frank Kaminsky: Badgers to be great

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Frank Kaminsky explained his decision to return to Wisconsin in a blog post Wednesday, writing that although it's always been his dream to play in the NBA, the pros can't match the excitement he expects to experience with the Badgers during his senior season.

"I am at the pinnacle of my basketball playing career, at least in my eyes. 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," he wrote.

"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?"

Kaminsky officially announced his decision to return to school last week, but he used his blog post to explain his thinking in making that decision.

The Badgers forward wrote that he's had aspirations to play in the NBA, particularly for the Chicago Bulls. His aunt and uncle worked for the team when he was a child, allowing him access to the practice facility. In 1998, when he was 5, he was at the facility at the same time Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Randy Brown were there, particularly leaving an impression on him.

He also said that a move to the pros would have been enticing because he's "broke."

"I know I am going to college and pursuing my degree free of charge, but it comes to a point where you are tired of being broke. I hate looking in my bank account at the end of the month and seeing $20 left in there. The appeal of potentially a lot of money would entice any collegiate athlete, or any college student for that matter," he wrote.

Kaminsky expects the Badgers, who made the Final Four last season and will lose just one starter (senior guard Ben Brust), to be a force again this coming season, and being a part of that was too hard to pass up. 

"With the pieces we have returning, I believe we can win the Big Ten, and even win the whole damn thing," he wrote.

Kaminsky led the Badgers in scoring (13.9 points per game) and rebounds (6.3) last season, both career highs, and averaged highs in minutes (27.2 per game) and field goal percentage (.528). He was a first-team all-Big Ten selection and named the most outstanding player in the NCAA West Regional.

And while he expects to be drafted eventually by an NBA team, he realizes that he'll have to start at the bottom compared to his starring role at Wisconsin.

"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," he wrote. "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."

NBA executives had told's Jeff Goodman that Kaminsky's range was anywhere from 25th to 45th in the upcoming draft.

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