After being relegated to spot duty during Michigan’s late season Big Ten regular season title push and postseason run, soon to be fifth-year senior forward Jon Horford has elected to transfer out of the Wolverines’ program and will utilize his final year of eligibility to play elsewhere, the school announced Thursday afternoon.
"Jon has been an integral part of our many accomplishments over the last four years," Michigan coach John Beilein said in a statement. "He brought great enthusiasm, leadership and work ethic to our program.
“Jon is a wonderful young man, who has a very bright future ahead of him. With his graduation this May, he will have the opportunity to play immediately at another Division I program. We will be rooting for him every step of the way."
Unclear where the 6-foot-10, 250-pounder will head to play next winter, this is the second off-season in a row in which Michigan lost a big man with one final year to play.
In four seasons in Ann Arbor Horford averaged just over 10 minutes a game including 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 107 appearances that included 12 starts.
"My time at Michigan has been the most beneficial period of my life in terms of athletic development and overall enlightenment," Horford said in a statement released via the school’s website. "The bonds created over the last four years are everlasting, and the memories made are truly priceless.
“As on all journeys, new paths must be taken and intuition must be trusted. I leave Michigan with nothing but love in my heart."
Horford will graduate from Michigan in May and be eligible right away for one season.
In the 2013-14 season, Horford averaged 13.8 minutes a game in 37 appearances averaging 3.8 points per game to go with 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 56-percent from the field.
The transfer announcement comes at an interesting time as Michigan’s program awaits the upcoming decision of sophomore center Mitch McGary, unsure if he’ll stay in Ann Arbor for another season or head off to the NBA draft.
If McGary decides to leave Horford would’ve served as a veteran in the frontcourt with easily the most experience of he, redshirt freshman Mark Donnal, Max Bielfeldt and incoming freshman Ricky Doyle.
If McGary stays, Horford likely would’ve been relegated to a reserve role, much like he was responsible for this past season.