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April 9, 2013
It's official. . . sort of.
University of Memphis junior Tarik Black, who will graduate from the school in May, will transfer to another educational institution and play basketball there this fall.
However, the million dollar question remains: what school will it be?
Currently, there is no answer to that question.
The decision to leave the U of M follows a sometimes contentious season for Black. He began the year as a team co-captain and starter; by the end of the season, he was coming off the bench behind freshman Shaq Goodwin, a role which he was clearly uncomfortable with.
There was also the infamous "walk out" early in the year, when Black left a practice early because he felt that he was not in the right frame of mind to help his team.
As a graduate, Black will be eligible to play basketball right away at the school of his choice, regardless of division.
What follows is the complete statement made by Tarik Black regarding his educational and athletic aspirations, as forwarded to TigerSportsReport.com by Tarik's brother, Amal Black:
Statement from Tarik Black:
First, let me thank everyone for coming and say that my statement should answer any questions that I am able to answer today.
I want to thank Coach Josh Pastner, the University of Memphis, my family and fans for the love and support that has been my encouragement and motivation as I have worked to complete my undergraduate studies in three years. As a result, I will graduate in May and I am looking forward to receiving my undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis. Following graduation, I have decided to continue my education by pursuing a Masters degree.
As many of you know, I considered many different schools prior to deciding to remain home and attend the University of Memphis. Prior to this decision, my parents and I felt there was significant social value in leaving home for a college education. Both of my brothers had gone away to college and this was the plan for my undergraduate education as well. However, Coach Pastner and my teammates Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford -- who are like my brothers -- helped me to also realize just how much homegrown students like Joe, Chris and myself could make a difference by using basketball as a platform for touching the lives of people right here in Memphis. Knowing that I could receive an excellent education at the University of Memphis, I decided to stay and work to make a difference. I have taken this commitment seriously by striving to be a positive role model for those younger than me and by trying to reciprocate all the love Memphis fans have shown me.
As a result, it has been a rewarding three years. Now, as I've reached the end of my undergraduate years, I recognize just how much I have grown through both triumphs and disappointments; all of which have prepared me to now graduate from the University of Memphis and pursue my Masters degree away from home. Coach Pastner and I have discussed my plans for after graduation and he has wished me well. Because I am an NCAA student athlete, I will have to receive an official release from the University of Memphis basketball program which I will have this week. At that time, I will be cleared to begin applying to graduate schools and reaching out to other basketball programs to find the best of both for me. It is critical that I find a program that offers me the greatest chance of taking what I have learned over the last three years to the highest level possible. Could I remain at Memphis and achieve the same? Quite possibly, but since as a graduate student I can play ball immediately next year, why not take advantage of this unique situation to gain a new perspective so that I can combine what I've learned at the U of M and what I will learn where ever I am next year in hopes of enhancing my versatility as a student athlete.
In closing, I want to once again send my love and thanks to the thousands of fans that have supported me. I have appreciated this more than you'll ever know. Much love goes to my teammates who have all been like brothers and have cheered for my successes and lifted my spirits when I needed it most. Thanks to the U of M basketball staff, especially Coach Williams who worked with me on my big man skills - and once again to Coach Pastner, who three years ago saw something special in me and gave me a great opportunity, which was the chance to be a Memphis Tiger now and then forever as an alum.
Most of all, I thank my family. They have been there for me every step of the way and are committed to being with me wherever this decision takes me. I do not consider this a farewell. It's just a brief intermission until I come back home. I love my hometown and want you to know that where ever I go, my heart and soul will always be right here in Memphis.