STILLWATER - Just three games into his Oklahoma State basketball career, Cezar Guerrero created a Hail Cezar moment — raising his arms to a Gallagher-Iba crowd chanting his name in appreciation of a 29-point effort in a second-round NIT Tipoff win over Texas-San Antonio.
A true freshman from Los Angeles, Guerrero seemed right at home.
Monday, on the first day of classes at OSU, Guerrero announced his intention to return home, wishing to be closer to his ailing mother Martha.
Cowboys coach Travis Ford said he would assist in helping Guerrero transfer to a school closer to home.
“I really need to be near my mother during this difficult time for her,” Guerrero said in a statement released by the school. “It's a difficult decision for me, but being with my mom and family is the most important thing right now.
“It's unfortunate, because I have really enjoyed my year at OSU and being a part of the Cowboy basketball family. Coach Ford has been like a father figure to me, and I appreciate everything he's done for me, as a player and a person.
“It's disappointing for me to leave, because I think this team could be something special this season. It will be an exciting team to watch.”
Guerrero's season didn't take off following his breakout against UTSA. He averaged 5.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32 games, including six starts. His playing time fluctuated, although he showed progress late in the season, when he posted two solid games in the Big 12 Tournament.
Once seen as OSU's future point guard, coaches were considering more of a shooting guard role for Guerrero this season. He averaged 8.8 points during the Cowboys' four-game exhibition tour to Spain.