Rodriguez decides to return to ETSU for final season

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East Tennessee State University head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes announced on Tuesday that redshirt senior forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) has decided to return to the Buccaneer program for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

After having second thoughts on his decision to turn pro, Rodriguez asked to meet with Forbes last Friday. Following an hour-long meeting, they both agreed to talk again after he graduated on Saturday. Rodriguez called Forbes on Monday night, and after talking things over with his family, he told coach that he wanted to return to ETSU for his final season.

“I have always wanted what was best for Jeromy and his family,” said Forbes, who now returns his top six scorers and three all-conference players from last season. “Jeromy and I have a very close and personal relationship. When Jeromy told me last night that he wanted to return to ETSU for his senior season, he made me the happiest coach in all of college basketball.”

Rodriguez said he is excited to return to a place he loves and hopes to help guide the Blue and Gold to a Southern Conference title.

“Over the past couple of weeks I began to have second thoughts about turning professional. After going back and forth in my mind, I decided to visit with Coach Forbes last week about the possibility of me returning to the team,” said Rodriguez, who graduated this past weekend with a degree in sport management. “He encouraged me to think about it over the weekend and visit with him after I had spoken to my family. My family and I decided it would be best for me to return to ETSU. I want to thank my coaches, my teammates, and our fans for their support and I’m ready to get back to work.”

Rodriguez, an all-conference selection last season, averaged 11.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in 33 games for the Bucs in 2018-19. The Buccaneer forward also shot 56 percent from the field (152-274), and totaled 64 assists, 44 steals and 21 blocks. Rodriguez finished the 2018-19 season eighth nationally in rebounds per game, 12th in total rebounds (361) and 23rd in double-doubles (15).

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