Cameron Krutwig will forgo his final season of eligibility with Loyola Chicago to pursue a professional basketball career

©Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Loyola Chicago center Cameron Krutwig on Thursday announced he will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NBA draft.

Krutwig will be remembered as one of the most significant players in Loyola’s history, starring as a freshman on the 2018 Final Four team and leading the Ramblers to the Sweet 16 as a senior.

He had one more season of eligibility remaining because of NCAA rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic but said in a YouTube video he felt it was time to move on.

“After a great four years here, a great career here, I feel it’s in my best interest and the right move is to go professional and move on and try to pursue my dreams to play professional basketball whether that’s in the NBA or overseas in Europe,” he said. “I think the time is right for me to go out and venture out and kind of start my life.”

Known for his unique passing ability in the post and versatility as a 6-foot-9 big man, Krutwig was the Missouri Valley Player of the Year and led the Ramblers with 15 points and seven rebounds while ranking second with three assists per game. He shot 57.4% from the field.

He was pivotal in No. 8 seed Loyola’s upset of No. 1 seed Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Krutwig is not listed on most NBA mock drafts, meaning he probably will find a home on an overseas team.

His departure is another massive change for the Ramblers this offseason.

Coach Porter Moser left to take over Oklahoma after a decade in Rogers Park. Assistant Drew Valentine was promoted to head coach.

The Ramblers are waiting on a decision from senior Lucas Williamson, who also has a final season of eligibility available. If he also leaves, Loyola would be without its top two scorers for the 2021-22 season.

Krutwig was known for his self-described goofy personality and his mustache, which gained notoriety as Loyola received national attention again this season.

“I’ll be a face everyone will see around,” he said. “This place has turned into the powerhouse we built, with continued success, I’ll be back for games with my family. I’ll definitely be a Rambler for life.”