LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Freshman forward Zach Peters is leaving the Kansas basketball program after a shoulder injury and history of concussions kept him out almost the entire fall.
Peters announced his decision in a statement issued by the school shortly after the 10th-ranked Jayhawks defeated San Jose State 70-57 on Monday night.
Kansas coach Bill Self said that Peters went home to Plano, Texas, during the Thanksgiving break and spoke with his family before meeting with him Monday. That's when Peters informed Self that he was leaving the program to deal with his health issues.
Self said that Peters has had four concussions since the beginning of his senior year at Prestonwood Christian Academy. Two occurred while he at Kansas.
Zach Peters to Leave Kansas Basketball Program
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas coach Bill Self announced Monday that freshman forward Zach Peters will leave the men’s basketball program following the fall 2012 semester due to health issues.
“Zach and I met today after he went home to meet with his family, and he has informed us that he will be leaving the basketball program effective at the end of the semester,” Self said. “Zach has labored with health issues since he has been here. His shoulder has improved but he’s also been dealing with multiple concussions that have become a big source of frustration and concern for him.”
A 6-foot-9, 240-pound, forward from Plano, Texas, Peters came to Kansas as a rugged post player from Prestonwood Christian Academy where he was a four-time all-state first team selection. He helped guide Prestonwood to state championships in TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parachial Schools) his sophomore and senior years. Peters was also an outstanding wide receiver on the Prestonwood football team; he caught 13 touchdown passes and had more than 1,000 receiving yards his senior season.
“We have had numerous contacts with his family about this and we are all in total agreement that before Zach could move forward with any type of athletic endeavors, he needs to be in a situation where he can address his health issues,” Self said.
Self said doctors indicated Peters has had four concussions since the beginning of his senior year at Prestonwood Christian Academy. Two of the concussions occurred after Peters arrived at Kansas.
“This is unfortunate for Zach and our team,” Self said. “I personally thought that Zach had a chance to be a very good player at the University of Kansas. It’s a shame that these health issues have kept him from doing so. While the shoulder has improved, he’s still not 100 percent.”
Self indicated that the combination of Peters’ shoulder injury and the concussions led to this decision.
Peters was Kansas’ second-leading rebounder averaging 6.3 boards on KU’s Europe trip to Switzerland and Paris in August 2012. He averaged 5.0 points in the four games, including seven points on 3-of-5 shooting in KU’s 83-79 win against the Swiss National Team.
“I hate that this is happening. I have really enjoyed my time at KU,” Peters said. “I was looking forward to having a great college experience here but with all the injuries, including the concussions, that I have dealt with lately, I feel like in order for me to move on and be able to get over all this, I need to go home and basically heal.”
“I really like all my teammates. This was the best situation I could have put myself in to excel in basketball,” Peters said. “I want to say thank you to KU, the coaches, staff, teammates and fans that have supported me. I wish it didn’t have to end up like this, but it’s important for me to do so for my future. I plan on continuing to take classes while I’m home but I will not be playing sports in the near future.”