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Posted: 5:05 PM- Forward Stephen Weigh is leaving the Utah Utes.
The 6-foot-6 sophomore has decided to return home to his native Australia and pursue a pro career, cutting short an injury-plagued basketball season and a college career that was viewed as exceptionally promising when he joined the team last year.
"While I have appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to attend the University of Utah and play for the basketball team, I have decided to return home to Australia and play professionally," Weigh said in a statement issued by the university. "This was a tough decision, but I believe it will be the best thing for me and my family. I do want to make it clear that I have no intention of transferring or playing college basketball for another school."
Weigh has played in 11 games for the Utes this season, but was injured in two of them -- mostly recently, suffering a sprained knee in a victory over Dixie State last week. He has not played since then, and was averaging just 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He leaves the Utes having missed his last 16 consecutive shots since his first injury, to his ribs, against Santa Clara on Nov. 19.
"I'm very disappointed that Stephen is no longer going to be part of our program," coach Jim Boylen said in the statement. "Stephen and his family decided this was the best course of action for his future. Stephen has been one of my guys since I took over this program and I support my guys. We'll miss him, but we wish him the best for his future."
Weigh scored 42 points in the first three games as a starter, but has scored only six points since then. He lost his job to freshman Carlon Brown while he was recovering from his rib injury. The Utes have been shorthanded in the frontcourt without Weigh and injured sophomore forward Kim Tillie.