Wyoming sophomore guard Cody Kelley is leaving the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team for academic and athletic reasons.

Kelley announced Tuesday his decision to transfer and pursue his graduate degree, but also continue his playing career. He is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in kinesiology and health promotion.

The Gillette native redshirted his first season in Laramie back in 2015-16. He played 34 games and averaged 3.4 points and 1.5 assists per game in the 2016-17 season. Last season, Kelley became the team’s starting point guard and averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 assists per game.

Kelley was not a scholarship player with the Cowboys. He becomes the fourth player to leave the program after this past season, joining Anthony Mack, Andrew Moemeka and Brodericks Jones. In addition, junior Justin James is testing the waters of the NBA and going through the pre-draft process.

The following quotes came via a release from the University of Wyoming Tuesday:

“After giving this decision a great deal of thought, I feel this is the best decision for myself moving forward,” Kelley said. “When the ball stops bouncing I want to have pursued a graduate program specific to my career goals. My undergraduate experience at UW has prepared me very well for the next step of graduate school.  I want to have the opportunity to pursue an academic program that fits my specific career goals while continuing to play college basketball. I will be a Cowboy for life and always keep Wyoming in my heart.” 

“Coach Edwards and the staff are some of my biggest mentors in life and I love and respect them. I’m very grateful to have learned from the entire staff and really grow as an adult. I feel that I have grown as a person in Laramie and all I can express to the University of Wyoming is my gratitude and being thankful for the three years I had playing in this great state. 

“I’m extremely honored to have been a part of this program for the last three years. I have made incredible connections in Laramie. The fans have been incredible to myself and this team throughout my career.” 

“Cody has done a great job representing the State of Wyoming along with this institution and program,” Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards said. “Cody has personal dreams and goals both academically and athletically that are best for his future, and we wish him the best in all his endeavors.”