The fluctuating career of Josh Smith at UCLA has come to an abrupt end.
Smith has quit the UCLA basketball team.
“I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons,” Smith said in a press release. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here.”
Smith, from Covington, chose the Bruins over Washington in the fall of 2009 after playing AAU for Seattle Rotary Select.
“In the end, the chance of winning a national championship and the tradition helped make up my mind,” Smith told ESPN at the time. “We’ll have a young team [in 2010] but we’re going to be good.”
Smith’s best season was his freshman year when he averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds. His numbers and minutes dwindled from there on. He averaged almost half those numbers this year, 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, before leaving.
Smith transferring within the conference is very unlikely since schools typically block players from going to other conference schools.
Here’s the full press release:
UCLA junior center Joshua Smith has chosen to leave the men’s basketball program and has been granted his release, effective immediately.
Smith participated in all six contests UCLA has played in thus far in the 2012-13 season and averaged 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in 13.5 minutes played.
“Joshua is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program,” said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. “I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
A native of Kent, Washington, Smith entered his junior season with the Bruins averaging 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 19.5 minutes played in 65 career games (24 starts) over his first two years in Westwood.
“I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons,” Smith said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here.”