The Oregon Ducks men's basketball team always has plenty of turnover between teams and this offseason is no different.
However, usually, it's the Ducks taking in highly sought after transfers but this time it's the other way around.
Oregon Ducks forward CJ Walker has announced he has entered the transfer portal with the intention to be closer to his hometown of Sanford, FL amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, per his Twitter.
"As the coronavirus has tragically continued to spread across this country forcing our Nation into lock down it has given me a lot of time to think about my future and what's in the best interest of my family and our health - both physically and mentally," wrote Walker.
"These past few months have been tough on everyone, and I understand this will be a long battle ahead. During this pandemic I'm also heavily dealing with ailing family members who are high risk with underlying conditions living back in my hometown of Sanford, FL.
"There is so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the upcoming season, and even if one will be played next year. I have decided the best decision I can make for both my mental and physical health is to return home to be close to my family and my support system."
The 6'8", former five-star recruit averaged 4.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 28 appearances, including seven starts, for the Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks last season.
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With the departure of center Francis Okoro, Walker was expected to earn a lot of playing time as a small-ball center next season as a sophomore. Unfortunately for the Ducks, he's decided to pursue other opportunities with the ultimate goal of becoming an NBA player.
"[I'll] continue to train and work at becoming the best basketball player I can be, to get back to a positive and healthy mindset, and to keep working towards my ultimate goal of becoming an NBA player one day," Walker stated. "During this process I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal to be able to properly weigh all options while this pandemic continues on."
Coming out of high school, Walker was the No. 28 overall player in the country and the sixth-ranked power forward. Before choosing Oregon, he named a final-three of Oregon, LSU, and Miami. His hometown of Sanford, FL is 251 miles north of the University of Miami.
Florida has been experiencing another outbreak of the coronavirus in wake of re-opening, including a new one-day record for cases of 9,585 positive test results, for a total of 132,545 total cases. Hospitalizations have hit 14,136, according to the Florida Department of Health with nearly 3,400 dead.
We at NBC Sports NW wish Walker nothing but the best. Once a Duck always a Duck.
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