Kansas senior Marcus Garrett’s college career is over.
Garrett announced on KU’s website on Wednesday night, in a goodbye letter titled “Rock Chalk Forever,” that he was declaring for the 2021 NBA draft and that “putting all my efforts into preparing for the 2021 NBA draft,” and not planning to return to KU for another season.
“There’s only one bad part about being a basketball player at Kansas,” Garrett’s farewell began. “You know what it is? Saying goodbye. I always knew I was going to have to do it. It doesn’t matter when you leave this place, it’s the worst part because it’s so special. So I’m not leaving without letting you all know how thankful I am.”
Garrett went on to thank everyone who played a role in his journey at Kansas, from his family and friends to his teammates, the KU fans and Kansas coach Bill Self and his staff.
“Marcus is a great player and I would have loved for him to return for another season,” Self said in a statement. “But the reality is this is the best decision for him and we fully support that. I believe what he accomplished in his career here at KU has put him in a great position to make this step. … He has meant a lot to our program and our fans, and we all know he will continue to make us proud.”
In another graphic posted to social media later Wednesday night, Garrett further illustrated the fact that his time at Kansas is finished, saying, "I have made the decision to wrap up my college career and enter the 2021 NBA draft."
The opportunity for Garrett to even consider another year came thanks to the blanket waiver provided to all athletes by the NCAA in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And many college athletes, across all sports, are taking advantage of the extra season of eligibility, which, in the case of seniors, is known as a super senior season.
Garrett’s decision to leave KU comes as little surprise given the fact that he went through senior night back in March and also reflected on his career with a finality following KU’s season-ending loss to USC in the NCAA Tournament.
Garrett’s KU career ends 16 points shy of 1,000 for his career. The 2019-20 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year ended his career with 181 steals in 129 games, which tied him with Adonis Jordan for 10th on KU’s all-time steals list.
He also averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 27.4 minutes per game with 80 starts.
There’s only one bad part about being a basketball player at Kansas.
You know what it is?
I always knew I was going to have to do it. I saw Devonte’ and Svi do it when I was a freshman. I saw Dok and Dot do it last year.
It doesn’t matter when you leave this place, it’s the worst part because it’s so special.
So I’m not leaving without letting you all know how thankful I am.
Before I came to school here, I had probably left Texas twice in my lifetime. When I got here, everything was new to me. And from the moment I walked on campus, you all took me in.
No questions asked.
You treated me as family. You made the transition from high school to college easy. I cannot thank you all enough for that. From Day 1, I was a part of the Jayhawk family.
My second family.
Now I never would have met you all and I never would have been a part of your family if it weren’t for my family.
My mom – she means the world to me. I remember seeing her struggle when I was growing up. I remember seeing that in her face. But she always made a way. Always.
Every time I call her now; any time I need something, she always just wants to make sure that I’m OK. She calls every day. She’s always checking, ‘Son, are you OK? Are you good?’ Every day.
She means the world to me and I love her so much.
And it wasn’t just my mom that’s been there for me.
My Uncle Matt showed me what life was really like. He showed me a different side I never knew. He came and grabbed me and got me out of the hood.
He showed me there is way more to life than running the streets as a kid. My first Jordans came from him. My first video game. My first everything. I wouldn’t be here today without him.
My Uncle Nakia taught me how to take that tough coaching. Everyone always asks why I know so much about football; it’s because of him. He always had ESPN on, making sure I knew everything about all the sports and was always getting on me about something.
He was hard on me growing up, and now I know why. He would always get on me about something. I remember growing up he was always hard on me, but now I know why. That man taught me how to handle tough coaching and how to take it to improve yourself.
I also have to talk about my aunt. You think I’m strong? She’s strong-strong.
We’ve been through a lot. Since I was 5, my aunt never missed a game. She was taking off work to be there for me and watch me play.
I’ll never be able to put into words how much you mean to me. You’ve always loved me. You’ve always taken care of me and made sure I was great.
One of the main reasons it’s so hard to say goodbye to this place is because of my teammates. My brothers.
I love these dudes so much. You know how many people in this world get to say they played basketball at Kansas? Not many at all.
It’s a special bond between us. We all know what it means to put that jersey on and we are all here for the same reason – to win.
I’ve played with so many great players during my time here. It was like a Dream Team. I will cherish all my teammates from my freshman year when we went to the Final Four to the bubble we lived through this past season.
I love my brothers.
Coach Self – I don’t even know where to start with this one.
He changed my life.
Like I said, I had left Texas like twice before I got here. I hadn’t seen the world.
Coach Self gave me an opportunity to do that.
I watch everything that man does. I’m always try to learn about him and why he is the way he is. Because, I’m telling you all, where I come from, there aren’t coaches that actually care about you and care about where you’re going moving forward.
Coach Self gave me an opportunity to play here, which changed the direction of my life. I’m going to be the first person in my family to graduate from college when I walk down the Hill next month.
Growing up where I did, this wasn’t something in my wildest dreams.
And finally, to you, Jayhawk Nation.
It’s hard to find the right words for you. I had no idea what it was like to play in front of great fans. Then I came here and I played in front the best fans in America.
That 16,300 is different.
You can’t explain it. You have to experience it.
You all make us feel like we’re heroes. I never wanted to let you down. Ever. And I hope I never did.
So with that, it’s goodbye for now.
I’m officially putting all my efforts into preparing for the 2021 NBA Draft.
I hope I just gave you a glimpse into how amazing these last four years have been for me. Now…it’s time for the next chapter in my life.
But don’t ever get it twisted, it’s Rock Chalk forever.
— Marcus Garrett