Mark McLaughlins long and winding basketball career that had included stops from Texas to Tacoma seemed finally to have come to an end at the University of Washington.
The shooting guard said he was done wandering and seemed to be at peace in April when he signed a national letter of intent to play for the Huskies.
But McLaughlin decided to leave the program, which began practice Friday for the Huskies two-week trip to Europe and Africa.
Mark McLaughlin has decided to leave the University of Washington to pursue other opportunities, coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement Friday. Although he was only here for a short time, we enjoyed working with Mark and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
McLaughlin was expected to be a major contributor for the Huskies, particularly with the loss of Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten to the NBA.
Last season at Tacoma Community College, McLaughlin led all junior college players in scoring, averaging 28.4 points per game, while leading the Titans to an NWAACC tournament title.
In 31 games, McLaughlin had 852 points with a season-high of 41. He also averaged at team-high 8.1 rebounds.
While McLaughlin has a track record of switching schools since graduating from Inglemoor High in 2009, the news that he left UW stunned TCC coach Carl Howell.
Im as shocked as anyone, Howell said. Im speechless. I really wish I knew more about it.
UW was supposed to be the last in a long line of schools for McLaughlin. He committed to Washington State, then quit Inglemoors team 12 games into his senior season.
He signed with Nevada but was released from his letter of intent when Wolf Pack coach Mark Fox left for Georgia. McLaughlin then attended a prep school in New Hampshire before ending up at Baylor in 2009. But he missed his son, Jaylen and transferred to Seattle University, where he redshirted the 2010 season.
McLaughlin played for the RedHawks in 2010-11 and averaged 7.2 points in 17.8 minutes of action in 17 games before leaving the team.
McLaughlins decision leaves UW in a tough situation. McLaughlin was the only player in the current recruiting class who was eligible to play. San Francisco transfer Perris Blackwell and Central Florida transfer Gillies Dierickx have to sit out the season per NCAA transfer rules.
Howell confirmed that since McLaughlin accepted the UW scholarship and also took a class during the summer session, he would be ineligible to transfer to another NCAA institution, regardless of classification.
Im not sure about an NAIA school, Howell said.
But Howell is more concerned about McLaughlins future and the circumstances that led to this decision.
I really havent talked to him the past couple weeks, which I guess should have been a warning signal, he said. I just never saw this coming.
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