Former Alabama forward James Rojas announced Sunday that he is transferring to Wichita State.
Rojas, who entered the NCAA transfer portal earlier this month, had been honored on senior day this season and was not expected to return next season.
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In an Instagram post detailing his decision, Rojas wrote, “Bama Nation, I have absolutely Loved my time in Tuscaloosa. Being a part of winning an SEC championship, going to the sweet 16 and making back to back tournaments was an amazing experience. I want to first thank everyone who supported me the last several years through the ups and downs. From coaches and teammates, to friends and family I’m forever grateful.
“I am going to go back to Kansas and play at Wichita State for my last year of eligibility so my son, his mother and I can be around our extended family, and have our support system around us.”
Rojas played high school basketball in Jamestown, New York before playing two seasons at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. He committed to join Buffalo out of junior college before following Nate Oats and the Bulls’ staff to Alabama in 2019.
After missing his first season in Tuscaloosa because of a knee injury, Rojas averaged 11.1 minutes per game off the bench during the 2020-21 season before injuring his other knee last summer. He returned midseason to play in 17 games, including three starts. He averaged 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds last season.
Rojas is the first of Alabama’s five scholarship men’s basketball players in the transfer portal to announce his new destination. Guard Jusaun Holt and forwards Juwan Gary, Alex Tchikou and Keon Ambrose-Hylton are also in the portal.
Although it is losing Rojas, Alabama added 6-foot-10 forward Nick Pringle as a junior college transfer this offseason. Pringle played at Wofford before moving to Dodge City Community College in Kansas.
Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.