SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – One week after withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft to return to Utah, junior forward Donnie Tillman announces he is taking a leave of absence to return home to be with his ailing mother, and will not be a member of the Runnin’ Utes basketball team in 2019-20.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share with Utah fans that I will not be returning to the Utes this fall,” Tillman said. “I have always respected and admired Utah’s commitment to academics, athletics and family. The Ute fans have always shown me unwavering support, as well. I respect both the University and the fans more now for understanding my wanting to be with my mother at this time, as her ongoing health issues continue. Coach Krystkowiak believes in putting family first and I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to follow in his lead.”
Tillman played in 58 games for the Utes through his first two seasons with the team. He averaged a career-high 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this past 2018-19 season, which eventually led to his being named the Pac-12 Conference Sixth Man of the Year.
“Donnie has made an admirable decision to be near his mother as she battles health issues,” said Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I wish he and his mother, Donna, nothing but the best and I would like to personally thank DT for his contributions to our program.”