Illinois guard granted sixth season

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The past two seasons, Tracy Abrams has had to watch from the sideline, his years ended before they started due to major injuries.

He’ll get one more chance at his senior season.

Abrams was granted a sixth year of eligibility and will return to Illinois for the 2016-17 season, it was announced Thursday.

“I am so proud of the perseverance and determination Tracy has displayed through his injuries,” Illinois coach John Groce said in a statement released by the school. “We are looking forward to having him back on the court this season, setting the tone for our team with his leadership, toughness and competitive drive.

“There is no one more deserving of having a healthy and successful senior year than Tracy Abrams.”

Abrams’ issues began in September, 2014, when he tore his ACL ahead of his first planned senior year. He redshirted and was working to return for a fifth season when he ruptured his Achilles last July ahead of what would have been his second attempted senior season.

As a junior in 2013-14, Abrams played 30.1 minutes a game and averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. The 6-foot-2 guard shot 33.3 percent from the floor.

Abrams, who has earned both undergraduate and master’s degrees at Illinois, gives the Illini experience and a positive story after an offseason mostly of turmoil, most notably the dismissal of guard Kendrick Nunn after he plead guilty to battery charges stemming from an altercation with a woman.