Kobe King has decided to leave the University of Nebraska basketball team just a few weeks after finally coming to Lincoln. The guard was a transfer from Wisconsin who had to delay his arrival to town because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NCAA had not allowed students or athletes on their respective campuses because of the outbreak. The organization lifted those restrictions at the beginning of June and the Huskers took advantage of the easing of restrictions as soon as possible.
Robin Washut of HuskerOnline reported on Friday morning that King isn’t transferring to another school. Instead, the player reportedly decided to step away from basketball entirely. The rationale behind that decision was said to be “personal reasons,” and at the moment, there aren’t more specifics known.
Nebraska released a statement not long after the news of King’s departure broke.
“Kobe King has informed us that he will not be attending the University of Nebraska for personal reasons. We respect his decision and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
King committed to play for the Nebraska basketball team in February of 2020 after deciding to transfer from the University of Wisconsin. Before leaving that program, he played in 63 games and had 20 starts. He started his career with the Badgers as a bench player, starting just once in 44 appearances during his first two seasons. During the 2019-2020 season, he played in and started 19 games. He averaged 10 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. King left Wisconsin in the middle of the season and decided to transfer not long after.
The Omaha World-Herald reported that the player departed Wisconsin after he publicly criticized how head coach Greg Gard ran the program. King would have needed a waiver in order to play for Nebraska in the upcoming season. Huskers’ head coach Fred Hoiberg said he planned to apply for that waiver, and because of the uncertainty surrounding sports in general, he expected the player would receive it.
The 2020 season will be Hoiberg’s second with the program. Since he arrived in Lincoln, his roster has been in a state of flux due to attrition and transfers. King was one of several players on the roster that arrived at Nebraska through transfer.
The news of the Huskers dealing with the sudden departure came just one day after Hoiberg and Nebraska football coach Scott Frost announced that they are going to be donating some of their collective salaries back to the athletic department to help deal with financial losses suffered by the university because of the pandemic.
As of now, King hasn’t made an official announcement about his future plans.