Chris Obekpa to transfer from St. John's

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NEW YORK (AP) Chris Obekpa, who led the Big East in blocked shots the past three seasons, has decided to leave St. John's and has been granted permission to pursue transfer opportunities with other NCAA schools.

The 6-foot-9 Obekpa, a rising senior, had said he was going to transfer after his sophomore season but changed his mind and he played last season for former coach Steve Lavin. He averaged 5.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocks last season but he was suspended for two weeks on March 15 for a violation of team rules and he missed the Red Storm's first-round loss to San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament.

He also missed a game in February after he was ejected from the Red Storm's loss to Butler on Feb. 3 for throwing an elbow to the head of Tyler Wideman.

Obekpa, a native of Nigeria, is St. John's all-time leading shot blocker (321) as well as for a season (133) and game (11).

Guard Rysheed Jordan, the other player returning who was part of the rotation, left the program earlier this month to pursue professional opportunities. The rising junior is not eligible for the NBA Draft.

Chris Mullin, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer and St. John `s all-time leading scorer, faces his first season with no players with any significant playing time.