MANHATTAN Freddy Asprilla has left the Kansas State men's basketball team to seek a professional career in a foreign country.
The 6-foot-10, 275-pound junior-college transfer was averaging 4.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in his first season with the Wildcats. He started 13 games.
Following the Wildcats' 94-60 win over the Red Raiders on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum, coach Frank Martin said he was informed of Asprilla's decision Friday night. He had no further comment, but in a statement issued by the school said Asprilla would be missed.
"After discussions with Freddy, we have come to a mutual decision that we feel is in his best interest," Martin said. "I expect him to explore professional playing opportunities in his home country. We appreciate his efforts this season and wish him the best of luck in the future."
Asprilla's former AAU basketball coach Art Alvarez said the departure was based on family issues.
"Freddy Asprilla is turning pro to help his very ill mother," Alvarez said. "He is sacrificing his collegiate career to make money at the professional level."
Concerns over his mother may have led to some poor on-court performances for the Villavicencio, Colombia, native, who started his college career at Florida International.
One of the top juco recruits in the country last year, his decision to enroll at K-State was seen as a major addition to the program. Teammates complimented his game in the preseason, and he began the season in the starting lineup.
But he failed to build on those expectations, and was seen angrily leaving a practice earlier this month, knocking over a rack of balls while his teammates stayed on the court to run.
Senior forward Curtis Kelly thinks a string of hard practices led to Asprilla's decision to leave.
"He's a great guy and he was a great player for us, but sometimes guys can't handle Frank," Kelly said. "Guys can't handle the way he demands. He wants the best out of you, 100 percent every time. Even though you may not be able to give it to him every time he still wants you to try. Freddy failed at that unfortunately."