Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
After Considering Transfer, Mustapha Heron Will Return to Auburn (UPDATED)
After considering a transfer, Auburn’s Mustapha Heron plans to return to school for his sophomore season.
“I talked to my family, came to a decision and definitely decided that I will be back next year,” Heron told ZAGSBLOG Tuesday by phone.
The 6-foot-5 Waterbury, Conn., native averaged 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds last season for an Auburn team that finished 18-14, 11th in the SEC under Bruce Pearl.
Asked if he considered transferring, he said, “Yes, I definitely wanted to weigh my options out but at the end of the day I just didn’t want to sit out a whole year and after talking to my family and my whole support system, I figured that this would be the best move, just to come back and help the program build and build my own brand and things like that.”
Heron said he spoke with the staff about the process.
“It was more knowing that I’ll be able to develop, play a bigger role as far as team leadership goes,” he said. “I was made one of the captains for next year, so I think that everything is in place now for me to be successful and me to help the team be successful.”
He said he considered testing the NBA Draft waters, but he opted not to test the waters this year.
“Yes, but after discussions with my family, I decided not to,” he said.
“Altogether I have three years left,” he added, “but hopefully it won’t be that long.”
In a statement, Pearl said: “Mustapha had a terrific freshman year improving in so many areas and along with his teammates had the second best season we have had in the last 14.
“After a careful study of his draft position for this year and next, he and his family have decided not to declare, return for his sophomore season and help lead the resurgence in Auburn basketball. He is going to play in the NBA someday soon, just not next season.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.