Earlier this week freshman guard JaQuan Hart announced that he is leaving OSU to return home to Flint, Michigan. OSU Head Basketball Coach Jim O'Brien shed some additional light on that situation today.
"I think that maybe it's one of the mistakes we all make. We all think that here's a kid that's a very good basketball player, his next obvious step is to go to college and play, when in fact college is not for everybody. That's what he indicated to us. That's basically how it happened," said O'Brien.
"Just as JaQuan indicated himself, he indicated to us that he just did not want to go to school anymore. He said he just didn't like going to class. He was also homesick. I think he's very connected to his girlfriend and she goes to school at Eastern Michigan. I think all of those factors his first time away from home entered into it, but more than anything, he indicated to us that he just didn't like going to school," O'Brien said.
O'Brien indicated that the OSU coaching staff, as well as the OSU academic support staff, tried to convince Hart to reconsider his decision.
"We tried to talk to him in terms of ramifications, his future, this has absolutely nothing to do with basketball," said O'Brien.
"We told him during the course of this year he didn't even have to play and practice this year, when in fact he's eligible to practice. We were trying to do whatever it is we could do to make his life a little bit more comfortable and to try to help," he said.
"The one thing that I will add is that this university extended itself like you cannot believe toward helping him to success. People here bent over backwards to try and help. They were very interested in his well being and in trying to help him through this. There's a lot of people interested in supporting him, but he indicated he didn't want to go to school," O'Brien said.
According to O'Brien, this was not a snap decision by Hart.
"This has been going on for awhile and his mom's been upset for awhile. There's a lot of people in Flint encouraging him to stay. That's why he's been torn, he just doesn't want to do it," said O'Brien.
O'Brien indicated that if the situation were to change, he would talk to Hart, but also didn't hold out much hope that would happen.
"I told him that he could call us at another time, but who knows what that's going to be at that point. Who knows where we're going to be and who knows where he's going to be. That door will always be open. I don't think we should close any door, but I think the chances of that happening are remote."
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