Ex-Jayhawk Tharpe picks D-League over college ball

Naadir Tharpe will be taking his talents to the NBA Development League next season. 

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Former Kansas point guard Naadir Tharpe announced Wednesday that he will not be playing another minute of college basketball, instead choosing to try his hand in the NBA Development League.

"I didn’t want to sit out," Tharpe told CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein. "At this point, I’d rather just try the D-League instead of sitting out a year to play a year (in college)."

Tharpe averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 assists last season as a junior for KU, helping the program to its 10th straight Big 12 title.

The Worcester, Mass., native decided to leave the Jayhawks program in early May, expressing a desire to be closer to his two-year-old daughter, Amara Grace, who had battled health issues during his time in college and lived in the New England area.

"My daughter has current medical issues that require weekly visits to her physician, as well as with a specialist," Tharpe said in a press release distributed May 1. "At this juncture, I feel it is best to be closer to home where I can assist and support in any way necessary."

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Tharpe’s decision to transfer also came shortly after a graphic photo surfaced of the ex-Jayhawk and an unidentified woman that went viral on the internet. The incident didn’t sit well with KU coach Bill Self, who stated he was "certainly extremely disappointed with what transpired and the judgment that went along with it."

What happened next was Tharpe’s decision to leave, which Self supported, as it would allow more time spent with family. 

"Naadir and I have talked numerous times since he’s been here about his role and about his situation back home with his daughter," Self said in a statement on Tharpe’s departure. "He’s told me many times how much he misses his little girl, and she’s had some health issues that has certainly made it difficult for him to be away from her for this extended period of time."

Tharpe had an opportunity to transfer closer to his daughter, but needed a hardship waiver in order to be eligible immediately.

Kansas will be leaning on sophomore guard Frank Mason and incoming freshman Devonte Graham to fill Tharpe’s minutes next season.