LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe will transfer closer to home for his final season of eligibility, ending a tumultuous run with the Jayhawks that included three Big 12 championships and multiple off-court distractions.
Tharpe said in a statement issued by the school Thursday that he made the decision to transfer so he could be closer to his daughter, Amara. She was born during his freshman season, and Tharpe said she has been dealing with medical issues that require regular visits to doctors.
"It's going to be tough leaving a situation like this because of the teammates I'm leaving behind," Tharpe said. "At this juncture, I feel it is best to be closer to home where I can assist and support in any way necessary."
Kansas coach Bill Self said Amara is "doing very well now," but Tharpe thought it was best to transfer closer to her. It's not clear what school he'll attend.
"Naadir and I have talked numerous times since he's been here about his role and about his situation back home with his daughter," Self said. "This is his decision."
Tharpe drew Self's ire before the season when he played in an unauthorized summer league game, which resulted in a one-game suspension. After the season, he was seen with a partially nude woman in a photograph circulated on social media that prompted Self to say he was "extremely disappointed with what's transpired and the judgment that went along with it."
On the court, where Tharpe showed flashes of brilliance mixed with moments of frustration. He averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 assists as Kansas finished with a 25-10 record, but struggled in a loss to Stanford in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
At one point in the season, Self replaced Tharpe with freshman Frank Mason in the starting lineup. Tharpe regained his starting job a few games later.