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Rider guard Nurideen Lindsey to pursue professional opportunities

Apr 12, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

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(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

When he surprisingly transferred from St. John’s after just nine games during the 2011-12 season, guard Nurideen Lindsey cited the desire to be closer to his native Philadelphia in order to tend to his ill mother.

With that in mind Lindsey, who began his collegiate career at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma, chose to join the program at Rider. Lindsey received a waiver from the NCAA to play at the start of this season instead of having to wait until the end of the fall semester and he was a valuable asset for first-year head coach Kevin Baggett.

Lindsey averaged 8.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest for Rider, which finished the season with a 19-15 record (12-6 MAAC). With those numbers an early departure to embark on a professional career may not be seen as the best move by many.

But with his mother still dealing with health issues, Lindsey has decided to take that path as reported by Ryan Restivo of NY Buckets. In an interview with Restivo, Baggett noted the family hardship as the motivating factor behind Lindsey’s decision to pursue professional opportunities.

“He’s in a hardship situation where he’s wanting to support his family,” Baggett said. “This was a thing that he wanted to do from day one. This was something that he had wanted to come and try and have a great year so he could try and turn professional to be able to support his family.”

“That still is his ultimate goal. It’s not because he doesn’t want to be here, it’s more just from his standpoint trying to support his mom [who] has been very sick and that’s why he got cleared to play this year.”

In addition to Lindsey the Broncs lose leading scorer Jonathon Thompson (13.1 ppg) and forward Dera Nd-Ezuma. But with players such as guard Anthony Myles and forward Daniel Stewart returning Rider will have the talent needed to be a factor in the MAAC next season.

Lindsey’s return likely would have placed Rider among the preseason favorites to win the league (Manhattan and Iona being two of those teams). But given the circumstances that led to his decision, it’s difficult to blame him for leaving.

Photo credit: Peter G. Borg/Rider University

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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