Fredrick transfers to Cincinnati; Collins enters portal

Published 3:41 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2023

BY KEITH TAYLOR

Kentucky Today

CJ Fredrick will finish out his college basketball career closer to home.

The former Covington Catholic star and 2018 Kentucky Mr. Basketball announced on social media his plans to sign with Cincinnati. Fredrick led Covington Catholic to the state title six years ago.

“I’m excited for this next step in my journey,” Fredrick said in a tweet. “I’m all in, (and) Go Bearcats.”

Fredrick, who transferred to Kentucky after beginning his collegiate career at Iowa, will graduate in May.

Fredrick spent the 2021-22 season rehabilitating a leg injury and returned last season and played in 27 games and averaged 6.1 points and 1.5 assist per game after missing most of the last half of the season with a rib injury.

“Having to deal with a couple of freakish injuries, I hope everyone knows that I’ve given my heart and soul to you and I’m proud that I’ll always get to be a Wildcat,” Fredrick said. “… having fulfilled this lifetime dream, I feel it’s in my best interest to explore every option for my future for so many reasons.”

Cincinnati will compete in the Big 12 Conference next season.

UK’s Daimion Collins also has entered the transfer portal.

Collins dealt with the adversity of his father, Ben Collins’ death early in the season.

“Daimion Collins had a year I wouldn’t wish on anyone and has been through more than any player should, including losing his grandfather in the last week,” UK coach John Calipari said on social media. “He’s a talented player & a good person with a bright future. Daimion and his family know that I’ll always be here for them.”

Collins added that he has enjoyed his time in Lexington despite the circumstances.

“In the last two years, I have encountered so many amazing people and had some incredible memories that I will cherish a lifetime,” he said. “To my teammates, thank you for the strong bond and brotherhood. We challenged and supported each other every day, and it actually made us better. I’m forever grateful for the valuable experiences we shared together.

“I want to take a moment to thank Coach Cal and staff, for giving me the opportunity to represent BBN and continue my growth as a young man. While this has been a difficult decision, it’s the best decision for my future.”

Collins averaged 2.9 points and two rebounds per game last season and played in 52 games as a Wildcat.