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Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer leaves basketball program

Kentucky's (Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer announced he is leaving the program after two seasons. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer announced Monday that he is leaving the Kentucky basketball program after two seasons with the school.

Wiltjer, a 6-foot-9, 239-pounder, was a Top 25 recruit coming out of Beaverton, Ore.

He averaged 4.8 points a game during his freshman season, which saw Kentucky win the national championship. Last season, he averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a game.

"I told Kyle I’ll play whatever part he wants in his transfer, whether that’s being involved and calling other schools on his behalf or not being involved in any way. He expressed to me that he needs my help and advice, which I will give," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said on his website.

Wiltjer wrote a letter to the Big Blue Nation explaining the reasons for his departure. It reads in part:

Heading into college my dream was to win a National Championship and compete with and play against the best players in the country. Without a doubt, I accomplished both of these goals in my two years at Kentucky.  Now as I head into my junior year, I recognize that my new and adjusted goals require me to make some very difficult upcoming decisions.  Coach Cal has been everything I expected him to be, as I have felt very comfortable talking with him about my situation. I cannot stress enough how supportive Coach has been during this period. He is more than a coach to me, and for that I am forever grateful. During this next year, I will be working on my body so that I am able to compete the way I know I can.  I want to find a situation that will help me do this as well as play a more significant role, wherever that may be. Even though I might physically leave Lexington, I will never forget the support and kindness that everyone has shown my family and me. It is difficult to put into words how hard it is to possibly leave BBN, yet I am confident that whatever I choose, I will give it my all. Regardless, I will always bleed blue and will never forget these amazing last two years at Kentucky.

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