Kentucky point guard Ryan Harrow is transferring to Georgia State and will request the NCAA grant him immediate eligiblity, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Sunday.
Harrow averaged 9.9 points and 2.8 assists as the Wildcats' starting point guard this season after sitting out last season following a transfer from North Carolina State.
Harrow told the AJC that he'll petition to be immediately eligible - and have two seasons remaining - because his father suffered a stroke prior to the 2012 season, and playing in Atlanta would give him the chance to be near his father and allow him to see Harrow play.
Harrow said after Kentucky's season-ending loss to Robert Morris in the NIT that he hoped to return to UK, though he conceded that the choice might not be entirely his. He said he intended to meet with coach John Calipari to determine if he'd be welcomed back after an up-and-down sophomore season in which Calipari questioned his toughness and energy level.
"If I can come back, then I'll come back," Harrow said then. "If I can't, then I just have to make decisions, really."
Harrow told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he didn't consider transferring until after the season when he became aware his father was not progressing well.
"I got better (at UK)," Harrow told the AJC. "I built some relationships there. I know next year we would have been really good. It was just real important for me to be with my dad. With him being sick like this, I needed to be there with him."
Harrow's departure opens a scholarship for Kentucky, which could have a fully stocked roster in 2012-13, and it could allow the Wildcats to pursue Kentucky Mr. Basketball Dominique Hawkins of state champion Madison Central High School as a backup point guard. Incoming freshman Andrew Harrison is expected to be the Wildcats' starter.
"Given the health of his dad, we fully support Ryan's decision to transfer to Georgia State to be closer to his family in Atlanta," Calipari said in a release. "Ryan was a vital part of this year's team and an important player in practice during our 2011-12 national championship run.
"I want to thank Ryan for his efforts and hard work and wish him the best of luck at Georgia State. I know the Big Blue Nation will keep a close eye on him and wish him well as he continues his basketball career and his pursuit of a college degree."