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AU men’s basketball player Lonnie Rivera to transfer

Sophomore Delante Jones is also rumored to have transfer plans

AU men’s basketball player Lonnie Rivera to transfer

Sophomore forward Lonnie Rivera announced his intent to transfer from AU on Twitter on Thursday, becoming the fourth player in four seasons under head coach Mike Brennan to transfer from the AU men’s basketball program.

“I'm grateful for the opportunities given to me at American University,” Rivera wrote in his tweet. “I will be continuing my basketball career and education elsewhere.”

Kyle Ellis of Court XIV, a player development group, tweeted on Wednesday that sophomore guard Delante Jones has plans to transfer. Though Jones did not explicitly confirm his intention to transfer, he retweeted Ellis’ tweet last week.

Assistant Athletic Communications Director Nicholas Guerriero declined to comment on either Rivera or Jones’ plans, saying only that both are still student-athletes at AU. Brennan, Rivera and Jones also declined to comment.

Neither Rivera or Jones have announced where they will be headed.

Jones averaged 11.5 points per game and averaged 31.6 minutes per game during the 2016-2017 season. He was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2016 for his freshman campaign, in which he averaged 12.0 points per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field.

Rivera saw limited playing time as a freshman and was plagued by injury during the 2016-2017 season, but started nine games once healthy and scored in double figures during four of his 21 appearances.

The departure of Jones and Rivera coupled with the graduation of seniors Charlie Jones, Yilret Yilirep, Leon Tolksdorf and Jalen Rhea leaves the Eagles with eight of fifteen players returning on their roster. Freshman Justin Perez missed the entire 2016-2017 season with a torn ACL, while sophomore Laurynas Motozis sat out the entire season after transferring from Saint Xavier University.

Freshman guard Sa’eed Nelson, freshman forward Mark Gasperini and sophomore guard James Washington are the only returning players who averaged more than 15 minutes per game in 2016-2017.

This is not the first time AU has dealt with multiple transfers. Under Brennan, sophomore Kade Kager transferred from AU to Glenville State ahead of the 2014-2015 season, while juniors Justice Montgomery and Langdon Neal transferred before the start of the 2015-2016 season.

If Jones and Rivera transfer to another Division I program, both athletes will have to sit out a season to comply with NCAA rules.

vsalandro@theeagleonline.com


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