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.
Jio Fontan expects to get his release from Fordham University by early next week and to be at a new school by January.
The Paterson, N.J., native and former St. Anthony High School point guard informed the coaching staff this week that he was leaving the program. The semester ends Dec. 21.
“Speaking to [Fordham athletic director] Frank McLaughlin, he was very much a gentlemen when we spoke. He said he was going to strongly recommend Jio be granted his release,” said Jorge Fontan, Jio’s dad. “They’re supposed to have a board meeting and by Monday or Tuesday the latest we should have an answer.”
Jorge added that Jio expects to be at another school by January. He will have to sit out a year per NCAA transfer regulations before suiting up somewhere else.
“We’ll probably take two or three visits,” Jorge said. “He should be wherever he’s going in January.”
Fontan told the Daily News that he was leaving the program because things weren’t working out.
“Fordham is a great university,” Fontan told the paper. “But it’s just not working out for me. I wish it would have worked out, but it didn’t so it’s time I moved on.”
He added: “It’s breaking me down as a person,” Fontan said. “I’m sad all the time. I’m down all the time and it’s starting to affect my relationships with my friends and family. I don’t want to be that person. I’m in a place where I’m not the same person I usually am.”
Fontan led the Rams in scoring (15.3 ppg) and assists (132) last season and is averaging 15 points this year for a team that is 1-4.
He attempted to leave the program last spring but was denied a release by school officials.
Over the summer he played for Puerto Rico in the U19 World Championships in New Zealand, and briefly considered spending a year training in Puerto Rico or attending a junior college.
He opted in July to return to Fordham and give it another shot.
“It didn’t work out,” his father said. “I thought he gave 110 percent but I thought it affected his mindset. Just the way he was functioning on an everyday basis he was not himself. Jio is happy-go-lucky kid. He’s never really down. Whenever I spoke to him on the phone or whenever he came home, it was carrying over.
“I told him enough was enough.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.