Adem Bona is returning to UCLA for the 2023-24 season.

That’s according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who spoke with Bona about his decision. Bona had previously declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, but maintained his collegiate eligibility throughout the process.

This is huge news for the Bruins, as Bona was named Pac-12 freshman of the year for his performance last season. He could take another big step in his development as a sophomore at UCLA.

Bona told Givony that his relationships with his teammates and coaches are a big reason why he’s returning to college.

“I have I great relationship with the coaching staff, I love my teammates and I love this school,” Bona told ESPN. “I know UCLA is the right program for me and I love it here. I believe I have the tools to go pro now, but I know there are some aspects of my game I need to improve on. This process is just as much about timing as it is about skill, so I need to prepare and put myself in the perfect situation when turning pro and I don’t think the time is now.”

He had shoulder surgery after the season, which may have impacted his pre-draft process. He was unable to conduct individual workouts but has received feedback from NBA teams in recent weeks.

Last season, Bona averaged 7.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Bona also made the Pac-12’s all-defense team last season. He will enter the 2023-24 campaign as one of the top defensive bigs in all of college basketball.