John Underwood leaves Missouri basketball team

Saturday, December 18, 2010 | 4:31 p.m. CST; updated 5:16 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 18, 2010

COLUMBIA — Missouri men’s basketball player John Underwood is leaving the team for personal reasons Missouri coach Mike Anderson announced Saturday in a press release.

The sophomore forward from Phoenix, Ariz. played in four games for Missouri this season. Underwood’s decision to leave was to be closer to his family according to the release.

Underwood was not at Missouri’s game against Oral Roberts on Thursday. After the game, Anderson said Underwood was dealing with family issues.

“Mizzou was an outstanding experience for John and I can’t thank Coach (Mike) Anderson and Coach (Melvin) Watkins enough for how they helped him grow over these past two years,” John Underwood’s father, John Underwood Sr. said.

“I wish the circumstances would have been different, but John wanted to be closer to home and closer to his brother during these difficult times.”

“Our hearts are with John and his family,” Anderson said.

“We are saddened to see John leave the program. He was really developing and we were seeing great signs from him every single practice. With that being said, basketball often takes a backseat and it needed to in this situation. We want him to know he will always have a family here at Mizzou and we will do whatever we can to support him in life and in basketball. He will be an outstanding addition for a program back home.”

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