Great Britain Under-20 Jesse Chuku has been forced to sit his freshman year at Division 1 school Lehigh after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
Chuku will have three years of eligibility remaining, and despite the blow, remains refreshingly positive. Talking to Lehighsports.com, he said:
“I can make the best of this year. I’m happy to play and learn from the older guys like C.J., Holden and Gabe. They’ve really been taking me under their wing and teaching me everything I need to know. I get to observe everything from the sidelines [this year]. Then I feel like I’ll be even more ready for what I start playing.
“I still feel like I can do my best to help the team win in terms of bringing it every day and working as hard as I can.”
Lehigh Head Coach Brett Reed also remains positive, and says they were aware this could happen when they recruited him:
“Although he performed well academically and is a comparable age to most college freshmen, Jesse’s educational path was reviewed and when evaluated, it was determined that he would have only three years of remaining athletic eligibility. He is required to sit a year in residence which allows for practice only during the first year, similar to NCAA transfer requirements.
“During Jesse’s recruitment, we were aware of the potential that he may only have three years to play for us. In fact, we embraced that because we felt his talent level, his character and his academic interests were so strong that having him for three years would be a very worthwhile investment.”
Image Credit: FIBA Europe
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