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TODAY'S PAPER

Kassoum Yakwe won’t return to St. John’s for senior year

Kassoum Yakwe of the St. John's Red Storm reacts against the DePaul Blue Demons during an NCAA men's basketball game at Carnesecca Arena on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. / Steven Ryan

Kassoum Yakwe will not return to St. John’s men’s basketball team for the 2018-19 season, the school announced on Thursday afternoon.

The school said in a release that Yakwe, a junior forward, is on track to earn his bachelor’s degree this summer and will pursue transfer opportunities for his final collegiate season.

“St. John’s University is a great place that I have had the privilege to call home for the past three years,” Yakwe said in a statement. “I would like to thank our coaching staff and administration for all of their support and for affording me opportunities to experience personal growth on and off the court. This wasn’t an easy decision, but at this time I feel it is best for me.”

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Yakwe played in 83 games during his three seasons with the Red Storm, averaging 4.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 18.9 minutes per game. Yakwe was named to the Big East All-Freshman team in 2015-16 after setting career-highs with 7.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and a conference best 2.5 blocks per game. He averaged 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks as a sophomore, starting 31 of 33 games. During this past season, Yakwe came off the bench in 23 of 24 games and played in 12 Big East games.

“Kassoum will always be part of the St. John’s basketball family and we wish him much success in his future,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said in a statement. “We appreciate all of the contributions he made to our basketball program. Kassoum is a wonderful young man with an endearing personality and has a bright future ahead.”