Center Peter Jurkin has left the Indiana basketball program and is looking to transfer, a source close to the situation confirmed Saturday.
The news first broke through a post on the Twitter and Instagram accounts of his teammate Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who also came to the United States through the A-HOPE program and played with the South Sudanese born Jurkin in the Indiana Elite AAU program.
“I can’t believe my big brother left me today,” Mosquera-Perea, a native of Colombia, posted. “This dude has been there for me everyday since the day we came to the US. We did everything together everyday all day. I’m going to miss this dude so much nobody will understand our friendship if you didn’t know us. He is the brother that I never had I love you P and I will miss you everyday bro.”
Jurkin had been dealing with shin injuries since high school however. They limited the 7-footer to just 18 minutes, two points and four rebounds in two seasons. According to the source, Jurkin recently had surgery to remove calcium deposits in his knees, which has made him feel much healthier. His shins have not fully healed, however. According to the source, Indiana does not believe he will be healthy enough to play, but Jurkin thinks he can and is therefore transferring instead of accepting a medical hardship waiver that would allow him to maintain his scholarship at Indiana but not play.
Indiana is now down to 11 scholarship players on the roster, which leaves two available.
UPDATE IU Athletics confirms Jurkin’s departure with the following release:
Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that center Peter Jurkin, whose playing career has been limited and hampered the last two years at IU and previously in high school by various leg ailments, will look to transfer to a school seeking more playing time.
“Peter has indicated his desire to try and find a program where he can get on the court more,” said Crean. “He has had an uphill battle health-wise since he arrived. He believes he can get to a point where he can contribute at a level greater than what he is able to do here. Our priority is that he can obtain his education and he always is welcome to do that and be part of our program at IU.”
Jurkin, a 7-0, 230-lb. center, played 18 minutes in 11 games and scored two points this past season. He was limited to three games in 2012-13 and is eligible for a medical redshirt. He played eight games this past year and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
“I want to thank Coach Crean and everyone on the staff for helping me through my injuries and the death of my father,” said Jurkin. I will always consider myself a Hoosier and think it is best if I look at another opportunity to pursue my education and continuing my playing career. Physically, I still have work to do but will hopefully be up to the challenge.”