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Mussini to Pursue Professional Career in Europe

Photo Courtesy/Athletic Communications

Photo Courtesy/Athletic Communications

Derrell Bouknight, Co-Sports Editor

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In a statement released by the university on Tuesday, the St. John’s men’s basketball program announced that rising junior guard Federico Mussini will pursue a professional career in Europe and will not return to the program.

Mussini, a 6-foot-2 guard from Reggio Emilia, Italy, played in 62 games in two seasons, starting in 25. During his time at St. John’s, Mussini averaged 9.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. In addition to his 85.9 percent mark from the free throw line, Mussini finished his Red Storm career with 112 made 3-pointers, a category in which he finished first and second on the team in each of his seasons, respectively, according to ESPN.com.

“It was an honor to wear a St. John’s jersey for the last two years,” Mussini said in the statement released on RedStormSports.com. “This was an incredible experience for me to be a part of such a great university in New York City. I want to thank Coach Mullin and the entire coaching staff for everything I learned from them. I also want to thank all the St. John’s fans for their support at Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden.”

Mussini’s decision to leave the program was one that had been rumored for several months. With star guards Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds leading the charge in the backcourt, as well as incoming transfer guard Justin Simon expected to see heavy playing time in his first season of eligibility since coming over from Arizona, minutes for Mussini would be hard to come by.

After starting the majority of games his freshman year, Mussini accepted a role on the bench last season, averaging 8.2 points in just under 20 minutes of action.

“We are supportive of Federico’s decision and wish him the best of luck,” Head Coach Chris Mullin said. “It was a pleasure to coach Federico for the last two years. He represented our program well both on and off the court. Federico is a terrific person and a model teammate with a bright future ahead.”

Mussini, a Big East All-Academic Team honoree last season, stated that he will always support the St. John’s basketball program, and that he feels the time is right to pursue a career back home.

“I believe I am ready to take the next step in my career and play professionally back in Europe,” Mussini said. “I will never forget this experience and I am sure that my teammates will have very successful seasons ahead.”

Mussini’s departure from Queens opens up a second scholarship for the upcoming season. The recent commitment of Bronx native and Brewster Academy-product Sid Wilson filled a spot as a backup wing player.

Also on Tuesday, the team officially announced the signing of South Carolina transfer Sedee Keita, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound big man. Due to NCAA regulations, he will sit out one full season and will have three years of eligibility remaining following the 2017-2018 year.

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Mussini to Pursue Professional Career in Europe