COVID-19 has cost Oregon a men’s basketball player.
C.J. Walker announced Wednesday afternoon that he will transfer from Oregon to be closer to home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"There is so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the upcoming season, and even if one will be played next year," Walker posted on Twitter. "I have decided the best decision I can make for both my mental and physical health is to return home to be close to my family and my support system, to continue to train and work at becoming the best person and basketball player I can be, to get back to a positive and healthy mindset, and to keep working towards my ultimate goal of becoming an NBA player one day."
The 6-foot-8 Walker was a five-star recruit when he joined the Ducks last year from Sanford, Fla. He averaged 4.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 28 games, including seven starts.
"As the Coronavirus has tragically continued to spread across the country forcing our Nation into lock down it has given me a lot of time to think about my future and what’s in the best interest of my family and our health - both mentally and physically," Walker wrote. "These past few months have been tough on everyone, and I understand this will be a long battle ahead. During this pandemic I’m also heavily dealing with ailing family members who are high risk with underlying conditions living back in my hometown."
Walker scored a season-high 18 points in his first career start, an 89-64 win over Hawaii on Dec. 7. He scored 12 points against both Seton Hall and Gonzaga in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Walker had a season-high eight rebounds in a 67-47 win over UT Arlington.
Walker’s departure leaves Oregon with one open scholarship for next season. He joins forward Francis Okoro as players who transferred in the offseason. Okoro landed at St. Louis.
The Ducks will return eight players from last season while adding one freshman and three transfers, although Aaron Estrada of St. Peter’s and LJ Figueroa of St. John’s may have to sit out next season.