Now with only 4 Packs, the brand new 2020-23 Contenders Football PACKS a real punch of cardboard goodness. In the 4th Pack from the box, the Auto was expected, but Lootbox TV was not expecting to strike GOLD. Numbered 2 of 10, this Gold Rookie Auto TIcket of Ochai Agbaji exceeded expectations both in value, and beauty. Agbaji, now on the Jazz, is expected to make an impact in Utah as part of their younger core squad. The new line of Panini Contenders sure looked good, and we look forward to seeing more breaks and HITS from this fresh set.
As a senior at the University of Kansas, Ochai Agbaji was named a consensus first-team All-American and voted the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2022. He led his Jayhawks to a national championship and was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Agbaji grew up playing soccer in Kansas City, Missouri. However, he grew 9 inches between his freshman and junior years, so after sophomore year at Oak Park High School, basketball became his focus. As a senior, he averaged 27.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and was named Kansas City Star All-Metro player of the year. He was considered a 3-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals, but during his basketball career at Oak Park High, he did not receive offers from any Power 5 college programs until his senior season.
In February of 2018, he committed to play college basketball for Kansas, over offers from Texas A&M and Wisconsin. He would start his freshman season at the University of Kansas as a redshirt and member of the scout team. Then, in early January 2019, his redshirt was lifted when Kansas needed depth after Udoka Azubuike suffered a season-ending injury, and Silvio De Sousa faced eligibility issues. On January 29, 2019 Agbaji made his first NCAA start, scoring 24 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in a loss to Texas.
In his next game, he recorded his first double-double in a win over Texas Tech and would go on to be named Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week for the 2 impressive performances. Agbaji averaged 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 22 games, including 16 starts as a freshman.The following Fall, as a sophomore, he would average 10 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.As a junior, he averaged 14.1 points per game, shooting 42 percent from the field. Then, on April 8, 2021, he declared for the 2021 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility.
During his senior year, it was all eyes on Agbaji, and he would record 29 points in his season debut against Michigan State at the Champions Classic. On January 24, 2022, he scored a career-high 37 points in a double overtime win over Texas Tech.
At the close of that NCAA season, Agbaji was voted the Big 12 Player of the Year and was named a consensus first-team All-American. Meanwhile, Kansas won the 2022 NCAA tournament, and he scored 12 points in the championship game and was named the tournament MOP.
After that, the NBA came calling, and on July 2, 2022, Agbaji was selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, he was traded to the Jazz in September of ’22 before ever putting on a Cavs jersey.
Now, he and the Utah Jazz look to make an impact on the NBA with their young squad, looking to be championship contenders once again.