Nojel Eastern, who nearly transferred to Michigan, opting out of season with Howard

The Detroit News

Nojel Eastern, the former Purdue basketball player who planned to transfer to Michigan, announced Sunday he was opting out of the remaining college basketball season at Howard.

Former Purdue guard Nojel Eastern is opting out of this season with Howard.

"After carefully considering all of my options, and with the uncertainty of COVID-19, I have decided to opt out of the college basketball season to focus on my dreams to become a professional basketball player and train for the 2021 NBA draft," Eastern posted on Twitter. "I will be signing with an agent and chase what I've always worked for.

"I genuinely want to thank Howard University and the coaching staff for a tremendous opportunity."

A 6-foot-7 guard, Eastern did not play this season at Howard, after transferring from Purdue, where he was an all-Big Ten defender in 2019-20. He appeared in 31 games for the Boilermakers (27 starts), leading the team in assists.

Eastern announced in May he was transferring to Michigan, with Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard even raving about the "blue-collar" player arriving in Ann Arbor. However, Eastern announced a little more than a month later he would be unable to transfer to Michigan because of an academic issue over course credits.

“I want to start off by thanking Coach (Juwan) Howard for the opportunity he would have given me by attending the University of Michigan. I was extremely excited and grateful for him taking a chance on me,” Eastern wrote on Twitter in June. “But, I was not admitted to the university because of many credits that weren’t transferable because of my major. That is the only reason why I was not accepted."'

Michigan did land two other transfers in guards Mike Smith (Columbia) and Chaundee Brown (Wake Forest).