Shortly after the 2014-15 season came to an end, it was announced that a key member of the Siena Saints was transferring elsewhere. Forward Javion Ogunyemi had made the decision to transfer from the program, looking for a change of scenery and a fresh start elsewhere.
In what many thought was the end of the story, Ogunyemi had committed to Boston University.
The story was far from over, as Ogunyemi then chose to return to Siena as opposed to attending Boston University, citing family reasons. Since Ogunyemi had not practiced with the Terriers or enrolled in classes after the transfer, he was able to return to Siena.
His decision to transfer back to school put his eligibility into question for the 2015-16 season, because he was technically a “transfer” player for the Saints.
On Friday, it was announced that Ogunyemi would not require a waiver from the NCAA to get back on the hardwood in a Siena jersey this season.
In 2014-15, the 6’8” forward averaged 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest while making 28 starts and appearing in all 31 games for the Saints. It was a down year for Siena, entering the season with lofty expectations after winning the 2014 CBI Tournament the season prior.
The Saints were hit hard by the injury bug last season, losing both Brett Bisping and Imoh Silas to season-ending injuries. Ogunyemi took the opportunity and put together a strong season for himself.
Looking forward to 2015-16, having Ogunyemi eligible gives the team a big boost in the front court. Alongside the aforementioned Bisping and Silas, and guards Marquis Wright and Lavon Long in the back court, among others, the Saints have a talented, balanced team who could surprise people in the MAAC this year.
Amidst all of the recent allegations and turmoil in the NCAA surrounding power conference programs and high-profile coaches, it’s nice to see that the NCAA was able to grant Javion Ogunyemi eligibility this season. Now, the big man can get back to just playing basketball and being with his family at Siena.