Friday, September 1, 2017

Sid Wilson will be heading to UConn, hoping for a waiver to play this season

For Sidney Wilson, UConn was always near the top of his list. Perhaps at the very top.

But when he initially made his collegiate decision back in May, Wilson selected St. John’s. The chance for the Bronx native to play for his hometown school was just too much to resist.

Not even a week into summer courses, however, Wilson already wanted out. He announced he was leaving St. John’s earlier this week, and he will be transferring to UConn.

“My relationship with the coaching staff,” he said, when asked why he chose the Huskies a second time around. “Before I committed to St. John’s, I had a good feeling on my visit in early May. Coach (Kevin) Ollie wanted me just as much as before, once he found out I was transferring. That’s probably the biggest thing for me. He feels like even if I sit out this year, I can still get better.”

Since Wilson was enrolled at St. John’s and took summer courses, he is likely to be considered a transfer by the NCAA and forced to sit out a year, per NCAA rules. However, UConn is working on a waiver to get Wilson eligible for this season, at least in part because he didn’t take any fall courses at St. John’s.

Either way, Wilson and his father, Sidney, Sr., are happy to be with UConn.

“The legacy of the program speaks for itself,” Sidney, Sr. said by phone on Friday. “Coach Ollie’s a stand-up guy. A lot of coaches would have taken it personal. But he was very welcoming. He wanted him again. He always wanted him. That never wavered.”

And neither, apparently, did Wilson’s fondness for UConn.

“They were neck-and-neck,” Wilson, Sr., said of the Huskies and St. John’s. “It came down to coming home and being home. Until the whole aspect of home came into it, (UConn was) probably No. 1.”

Wilson’s mother, Pauline, passed away in March, 2015. Sidney, Sr. sent his son up to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire to get away from home – and all the memories that were there – for a while.

The family thought Sidney was ready to return home when he committed to St. John’s.

“St. John’s had great people, a great coaching staff, the facilities were wonderful,” Wilson said. “I just didn’t feel at home at St. John’s. I felt rushed into the decision. I thought being at home would be a great thing, but it turned out it wasn’t.”

Added his father: “The memory of his mother was just a little too much.”

Wilson is a 6-foot-7, ultra-athletic small forward who was the No. 71 overall recruit in the nation, per rivals.com. He could help a young, inexperienced UConn frontcourt this season, if he’s granted a waiver. But if not, he’s still ready to help.



“If I can’t (get a waiver), I’m still excited to get down to Storrs, have a great season and root on my teammates.”

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5 Comments:

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