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Mikael Jantunen Leaving Utah To Play Professional Basketball At Home

Utah Utes forward Mikael Jantunen. (Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Runnin’ Utes forward Mikael Jantunen announced on social media that he will leave the program and is going back home.

Mikael Jantunen played two seasons with Utah and was a key contributor for Larry Krystkowiak but now he will go back home to play professional basketball.

Jantunen announced his decision on Monday via Twitter.

“Thank you Utah! Since day one, this place has felt like a second home to me,” Jantunen wrote. “I will always cherish the unforgettable moments that I had as a Ute. Thank you to my teammates, coaches and all the people I had the opportunity to work with, the relationships will last forever. Thank you to the MUSS, the community and fans that welcomed me with open arms since the first day I got here. It was a great experience and a lot of fun but now it’s time to move on. That being said I have decided to continue my basketball career as a professional. Thank you Utah!”

The Finnish forward worked his way to a starting role in his two seasons with the Utes. As a freshman in 2019-20, Jantunen played in 31 games with three starts. He averaged 6.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game.

This past season, Jantunen started in all 20 games he played, posting averages of 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 28 minutes per game. He missed about two weeks this past season in order to go back home and play for the Finnish National Team in the EuroBasket Qualifiers.

Jantunen received high praise from his former head coach Larry Krystkowiak for his toughness that he showed on the floor. Jantunen joins Timmy Allen (Texas), Alfonso Plummer (Illinois), Ian Martinez (undecided) and Jordan Kellier (undecided) as players that left the program after the coaching change.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.