JaQuori McLaughlin, the former standout basketball player for Peninsula High School, was granted his release from the Oregon State University men’s basketball team and will transfer, his father confirmed in a text message.
McLaughlin was in his second year at OSU and had started 35 of 38 games, even setting the Beavers’ freshman record for 3-pointers last season (58).
He was quoted in a statement released by Oregon State on Friday saying he struggled with balancing being a student and athlete.
“There are some challenges I’ve been faced with that have impacted me and kept me from being able to compete to the best of my ability in a way that would help my team win games,” McLaughlin said in the statement.
“This was an important decision that I did not take lightly and I apologize to the fans that have been supportive and treated me so well, even through tough times. It is my hope that even without specific details you can still try to understand that this was about so much more than basketball.”
When he was still at Peninsula, McLaughlin had first committed to Oregon State, then decommitted when it’s former coach, Craig Robinson, was fired. Then he committed to the University of Washington before switching back to Oregon State.
McLaughlin, a 6-foot-4 guard and former four-star recruit, seemed to catch on immediately in his first season of college basketball, averaging 10.5 points per game, 3.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds. That came after he set Peninsula’s school record with 1,714 career points and averaged 17 points and just more than eight assists per game his senior season.
He was selected by the Washington state high school boys basketball coaches association as its “Mr. Basketball” for the 2015-16 season.
“Best complete player the South Sound has seen in a long time,” his former coach, Jake Jackson, said at the time. Jackson now coaches at Sumner.
But he had struggled in the early going at OSU this season, averaging 2.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds, and missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts.
“Like all of the programs at Oregon State, we hold our student-athletes to a high level of expectations on the court, off the court and in the classroom,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said in the release. “Unfortunately sometimes that can be too much to ask for. JaQuori is a great kid with a tremendous heart and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
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