Ex-Illinois star Nunn to join Golden Grizzlies

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Kendrick Nunn

Dismissed Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn decided Wednesday night that he will continue his basketball career at Oakland.

Nunn visited Oakland on Monday, and hit it off with coach Greg Kampe and his assistants.

"Obviously a great school, with a lot of reputation," said Nunn, who called new Oakland assistant Cornell Mann to commit. "They allowed me to come in, you know, to save my career."

Nunn, 20, who's 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, will have to sit out the 2016-17, per NCAA regulations. He will have one season of eligibility remaining at Oakland.

Nunn also considered transferring to East Carolina and Texas A&M-Commerce.

A top-75 recruit coming out of high school in Chicago, Nunn averaged 15.5 points in 35.1 minutes this past season, win which he played in 28 games, with 25 starts. He averaged 11.1 points as a sophomore.

Oakland's style of play -- which gained a whole lot of notoriety this past season, with star point guard Kay Felder leading the nation's top scoring offense -- really appealed to him.

"It's just a great fit for me," Nunn said. "I think I could make another jump going there. Kay was a great player, a lefty like me, a great scorer, something I like to do. That played a part in the decision."

Felder left Oakland after his junior season to enter Thursday's NBA draft. His stock has risen dramatically since the NBA combine.

Oakland added junior-college transfer Stevie Clark to take Felder's place this season.

Nunn was kicked off the Illinois team in May after pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery, and was sentenced to 18 months probation and community service. He said he's confident those issues are in the past.

"Yeah, definitely," he said. "It's a lot of things that I've seen and heard throughout the media about the situation that wasn't true at all. Oakland, they took me in and they know the story. They were positive about me."

Kampe is known to do due diligence with kids with past issues, legal or otherwise, and goes on a case-by-case basis.
Clark and Texas transfer Martez Walker are two recent examples of kids Kampe has given a second chance to.

Walker, from Detroit Pershing, was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and booted from Texas, joined the team mid-season this past season and averaged 10.5 points in 23.2 minutes. He played in 26 games, starting 13 of them.