Pankey leaving Maryland due to family concerns

May 15, 2012 | WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Ashton Pankey will leave the University of Maryland after the current semester due to family reasons, head basketball coach Mark Turgeon announced Tuesday.

Pankey, a 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman forward from the Bronx, N.Y., told Turgeon he needed to find a school closer to home in order to aid his family.

“My mom is the rock in my life and I promised her I would take care of her like she did for me,” Pankey said. “Therefore, I am choosing to put my family first and look for a school closer to home.

“I’m sad that I must leave the University of Maryland, as I have enjoyed my time here with my teammates and coaches who have been my second family. I would like to thank them for their support during this time. I’ve become a better person and player while at Maryland.

“I thank my coach, assistant coaches and teammates, as well as the continued devotion of Maryland fans,” Pankey added.

“Ashton was raised in a close-knit home; he and his mother are very close,” said Turgeon. “We support him in this difficult time. It was great to have Ashton as a part of our program; we appreciate the hard work that he put in academically as well as on the court.  He has a lot of potential and we wish him success moving forward.”

Pankey missed all but one minute his freshman year due to a stress fracture in his leg. Last season, he played in all 32 games, averaging 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. He had four double-figure scoring games (high of 17 vs. Radford) and three games with double figures in rebounds (11 vs. Iona and Virginia Tech).