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Trevor Mbakwe

Tom Olmscheid, Associated Press

Gophers' Mbakwe granted 6th year

  • March 23, 2012 - 11:27 AM

Gophers fifth-year senior Trevor Mbakwe has been granted a sixth season of eligibility, the University of Minnesota confirmed Friday morning.

“The NCAA made the right decision,” Gophers head coach Tubby Smith said in a statement. “Trevor has done everything we have asked of him for three years now and he deserves the right to compete for a sixth season.”

It is still unclear whether Mbakwe will come back for another college season or turn pro, but he now has the option.

“I am certainly excited for the opportunity that the NCAA has given me in a sixth year of eligibility,” Mbakwe said in a statement. “I want to thank my family and all of Gopher Nation for all of the support. It has been a difficult season but I am confident that I will be able to return to the type of player I was before the injury.”

The 6-8 forward tore the ACL in his right knee in November and missed the rest of the season. He was averaging 14 points and 9.1 rebounds through seven games when he was hurt in Orlando.

Past history indicates it is somewhat rare for the NCAA to grant a sixth year to a player that has not had two injuries. Mbakwe also missed the 2009-10 season because of legal issues stemming from an assault charge in Miami when he was playing for Miami Dade Community College.

AMELIA RAYNO

 

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