For what appears to be the first time in program history, the UConn menâ€™s basketball team will welcome back a player who it honored on â€śSenior Day.â€ť
Isaiah Whaley, who has spent four years playing and studying at UConn, will take advantage of the new option offered by the NCAA this season and will return to the Huskies for a fifth season of play.
The 6-foot-9 Whaley, the only player on the team to start all 23 games this season for UConn, is slated to graduate this spring with a degree in Urban and Community Studies.
â€śIsaiah has worked extremely hard to become one of the most productive players in our program,â€ť UConn coach Dan Hurley said in a statement released by the school. â€śHis tireless work ethic, his leadership, his attitude, epitomize the type of player we want at UConn. I couldnâ€™t be happier to welcome him back for another season.â€ť
Because of the COVID-19 circumstances, the NCAA has offered all athletes an extra year of eligibility and their scholarship wonâ€™t count toward a teamâ€™s limit.
A native of Gastonia, North Carolina, Whaley averaged 8.0 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Huskies as a senior this season. He also was among the national leaders in blocked shots, swatting 2.6 per game.
Whaley was the co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East this season, helping UConn hold opponents to a league-low 64.6 points per game.
â€śI am very excited to be able to return to UConn for another season,â€ť Whaley said. â€śI think we took a big step forward this year and I want to help the program continue to rise as we go after championships.â€ť
UConn finished 15-8, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years.
Whaley has played in 106 games in his career. Heâ€™s scored 436 points and pulled down 382 rebounds.