Cody Larson’s basketball career never got off the ground in Florida.
After redshirting as a freshman, Larson was involved in a bizarre incident along with a team manager and Erik Murphy where he tried to break into a car after sneaking into a bar after closing time to inquire about a lost wallet. After being reinstated to the team for the 2011-2012 season, Larson did not meet the conditions that Billy Donovan had set in place for him to be allowed to remain on scholarship this past year. All this came after he was suspended during his senior year in high school for sharing prescription pain pills with a teammate.
So instead of playing basketball during the 2012-2013 school year, Larson focused on improving his academics and solving his off-the-court problems.
One guy that is hoping that Larson has done just that is South Dakota State head coach Scott Nagy, as it was announced on Wednesday that Larson, a Sioux Falls native, would be transferring into the Jackrabbit program.
“Through all the trouble I’ve been in, I know that this will be the hardest task to take on in terms of maturity,” Larson told the Argus-Leader. “If I can utilize my talents and my potential in this aspect of my life, I’m completely confident about any other area of my life.”
Larson technically must sit out the 2013-2014 season and will be eligible to play in 2014-2015 with just one year of eligibility remaining, but SDSU will be applying for a waiver. Seeing as Larson has already redshirted one year and didn’t play with Florida this past season, it seems as if this is one of those situations where immediate eligibility could end up being granted. In that case, Larson would have two seasons left to play.
Regardless, it’s a worthwhile risk for Nagy to take. Larson is a talented basketball player and a guy that a lot of high-major programs recruited coming out of high school. He’s also seen basketball get taken away from him, and has, hopefully, matured during his year away from the sport. He’s the kind of player that rarely makes their way into the Summit League, and will help the Jackrabbits get through the post-Nate Wolters era.
Everyone deserves a second chance.
Here’s to hoping that Larson makes the best of his.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.