August 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Michigan State basketball transfer Bryn Forbes granted waiver, can play this season

Bryn Forbes played for Cleveland State last season. He was a high school teammate of Denzel Valentine at Lansing Sexton, where the pair won back-to-back state championships in 2011 and 2012. (James Crisp / Associated Press)

East Lansing — Michigan State junior guard Bryn Forbes has been granted a hardship waiver from the NCAA and will be eligible to play this season for the Spartans men’s basketball team.

The transfer from Cleveland State is a native of Lansing and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

“I’m very thankful to the NCAA for allowing me to play this season,” Forbes said in a statement. “My family is extremely important to me and I can’t think of a better situation than being able to play in my hometown. This is truly a blessing to me. I’m happy to have this behind me, so that I can focus on balancing basketball, school and family obligations. I just look forward to contributing to the team any way I can.”

Forbes was a high school teammate of Denzel Valentine at Lansing Sexton, where the pair won back-to-back state championships in 2011 and 2012. He averaged 15.6 points per game to rank sixth in the Horizon League while shooting 42.4 percent from 3-point range. His 81 made 3-point field goals established a Cleveland State season record as he started all 32 games in which he played.

As a freshman in 2012-13, Forbes averaged 12.7 points a game and earned Horizon League Newcomer of the Year honors.

“This is certainly good news for Bryn,” coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “Family is very important to Bryn and we are supportive of those obligations.

“Sometimes you look at waiver cases and question the intentions, but if there was ever a case where one seemed to be in order, this is it. Bryn is sincere in his desire to be there for his family, and he and I have discussed the work that will be needed to balance that with everything that comes along with being a student-athlete at Michigan State.”

Forbes transferred to Michigan State to be closer to his young son and a family member with medical issues.

And with the waiver being granted he will give the Spartans more depth in the backcourt and help fill the void in outside shooting left by the dismissal of Kenny Kaminski.

“He had a great summer shooting the ball, and we expect him to add that to our offense this season,” Izzo said. “There’s still room for him to improve as a player, but I’ve already enjoyed coaching him in the limited time we’ve had this summer.”

Added Forbes, “I’ve only been a Spartan for a few months, but it already feels like home. My teammates have been great and accepted me immediately as part of the family. … I’m so excited; I can’t wait for the start of the season.”

Michigan State has experienced plenty of change since the end of last season. Adreian Payne, Gary Harris and Keith Appling are off to the NBA while Russell Byrd transferred, Kaminski was dismissed and Alex Gauna is expected to retire from playing.

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