Injuries, academics pull Whitt away from basketball

Harry Whitt has taken a lot of ibuprofen lately.

The 6-foot 10-inch center said he’s taken the drug every day for the last year and a half to treat ailing knees, and those knees are part of the reason why Whitt has decided to quit basketball and leave SIU for the University of Arizona.

“I don’t feel like I’ll be in a position to contribute next year because of my condition,” Whitt said. “That makes me feel as if I need to pursue other things other than basketball.”

Harry Whitt | Provided Photo

Whitt said the decision was a quick one, and until his summer physicals he was excited to begin his second year with the Salukis. His knees gradually started to hurt during the last season, and after he took physicals with the team this summer, he said his body wasn’t ready for Division I basketball.

Whitt played basketball at the Fishburne Military Academy for two years before SIU, and he said the school might have contributed to his rough transition into college basketball.

“We didn’t get enough sleep or food,” Whitt said. “We had no training; no ice.”

He said his decision to leave had as much to do with his injured knees as what he wants to do beyond basketball. Whitt said he wanted to buckle down and focus on getting into a top-tier law or business school such as Stanford, Harvard or Columbia University. Whitt had a 4.0 GPA at SIU.

Whitt said he’ll get free tuition at the University of Arizona because his mother, Ruth Ann Dickinson, is a professor of their psychiatry residency training program.

Hinson said in a press release that he wishes Whitt the best of luck in his future endeavors, but he won’t be available for a direct comment until tomorrow.

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