One of the basic goals for any athlete is to be able to end their career on their own terms.
Unfortunately that isn’t the case for BYU center Ian Harward, as the school announced on Thursday that complications from a back injury suffered last summer have forced him to retire.
The 6-11 Harward played in 22 games this past season, averaging just four minutes per game for Dave Rose’s Cougars. The Orem, Utah native served a two-year LDS mission in San Antonio from 2009 to 2011 and sat out the 2011-12 season as a redshirt.
Harward’s career highs were seven points in a loss to Notre Dame (November 17) and five rebounds in a win over Virginia Tech on December 29.
“We are sorry to lose Ian to injury,” Rose said in a statement released by the school. “He is a fantastic teammate and one of the hardest workers we have had in our program.
“He will be missed in the locker room and on the floor. We wish him and his wife Sarah the very best.”
Harward will continue to work towards his bachelors degree at BYU.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.