A day after the University of Washington introduced Mike Hopkins as its new basketball coach, Huskies reserve forward Matthew Atewe became the first player to transfer out of the program since Lorenzo Romar was fired last week. Also Thursday, the UW officially released highly prized recruit Michael Porter Jr. from the national letter of intent he signed last fall.
Atewe, a 6-foot-9 senior-to-be, made the announcement on his Twitter account.
“Thank you to the University of Washington for everything that you have given me, especially Coach (Lorenzo) Romar and the staff for getting me healthy and allowing me to finally play basketball at a competitive level,” Atewe wrote.
“This has been the closest team that I have ever been on and me and my brothers have had the best experiences that I will never forget. But due to recent events that have occurred, I have decided to graduate and transfer out to play my final year of basketball. ”
Atewe played in 19 games and made four starts this during his only active season at Washington. He averaged 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 8.7 minutes.
Atewe enrolled at Auburn in 2013-14. He fractured his left leg that forced him to miss all of the 2014-15 season. Then he transferred to Washington.
Porter, the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year from Nathan Hale High School, asked for his release Wednesday.
Porter is the second recruit from the No. 2-ranked class of 2017 to back away from Washington in the wake of Romar’s ouster. Blake Harris of Word of God Christian Academy in North Carolina received his release Tuesday. He committed to UW in July. On Monday, Immanuel Quickley, a five-star point guard from Maryland, eliminated Washington from his college choices.
Porter averaged 34.8 points and 13.8 rebounds per game this season, leading Nathan Hale to an undefeated season that was capped by the school’s first boys basketball state title since 1992.