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Jermaine Marshall to leave Penn State, pursue professional career

May 15, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

Big Ten Basketball Tournament - First Round -  Penn State v Michigan Getty Images

Penn State seemed poised to make a jump next season with Tim Frazier returning from injury and Jermaine Marshall and DJ Newbill back for another year, but those hopes took a hit on Wednesday afternoon when the school announced that Marshall would be leaving the program upon completing his degree.

Marshall will graduate with a degree in human development and family studies after the second summer school session, and then he will begin to pursue a professional career.

“Jermaine and I have had several discussions recently regarding his plans for the future and he feels strongly that graduating and entering the professional world at the conclusion of the summer is in the best interest of his son and his family,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said in a statement. “We thank Jermaine for his contributions to our program and wish him the best of luck.”

“I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and basketball staff as well as the faculty and fans of Penn State,” Marshall added. “I truly enjoyed my four years at the University and learned a great deal from all of them. This is a difficult decision, but I want to provide for my son and feel the best decision for me and my family is to graduate and enter the professional world this summer.”

It’s a massive blow for the Nittany Lions. Marshall averaged 15.3 points last year as their second-leading scorer, and with Newbill returning and Frazier, who was a first-team all-Big Ten caliber player before blowing out his Achilles, they seemed ready to at least be competitive in the conference.

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