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Utes F Donnie Tillman Taking Leave Of Absence From Basketball

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah basketball team announced that forward Donnie Tillman will be taking a leave of absence from the team and school due to personal reasons and will not be a member of the Runnin’ Utes team for the 2019-20 season.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with Utah fans that I will not be returning to the Utes this fall,” Tillman said. “I have always respected and admired Utah’s commitment to academics, athletics and family. The Ute fans have always shown me unwavering support, as well. I respect both the University and the fans more now for understanding my wanting to be with my mother at this time, as her ongoing health issues continue. Coach Krystkowiak believes in putting family first and I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to follow in his lead.”

Tillman finished his second season with the Utes and averaged a career-best 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this past season as a sophomore. He received the Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year award.

“Donnie has made an admirable decision to be near his mother as she battles health issues,” said Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I wish he and his mother, Donna, nothing but the best and I would like to personally thank DT for his contributions to our program.”

The Detroit, Michigan native tested the NBA Draft waters last month by working out for various teams around the NBA including the Utah Jazz, but ultimately decided to return to school.