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Kerr Kriisa is back in Arizona, but when will he be eligible to play for the Wildcats?

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Photo courtesy Andri Kiige

Kerr Kriisa is glad to be back in the Sonoran Desert.

“Not gonna lie...missed the weather,” the freshman guard tweeted Thursday night from the Tucson Airport on Thursday night.

Kriisa returned from a brief stint with the Estonian national team, which had a pair of FIBA qualifying games in Tallinn last weekend, one of which ended up being cancelled by COVID-19.

It was an opportunity for Kriisa to get some playing time as awaits NCAA clearance to play for the Arizona Wildcats.

He started but struggled for Estonia in a 84-56 loss to Russia on Saturday, going 0-4 from the field—all 3-pointers—with three turnovers and one assist. However, the 19-year-old was playing against guys much older than him.

Kriisa recently told an Estonian news outlet that his eligibility issues stem from a youth contract he signed with Zalgiris, the club he played for before joining the Wildcats.

“Once we began on getting things sorted, I knew there could be issues but deep inside, I did not believe in it as I know five guys from Žalgiris’ development team who play in America,” Kriisa said. “All of them had the same contract and all can play. It is a little mystical that they are messing with me like this, but yeah... That is how it is.”

It’s unclear if Kriisa will be able to play Saturday vs. Eastern Washington, but we should know more Friday at noon when Arizona head coach Sean Miller holds a virtual press conference with local media.

“We’re hopeful that he can be eligible to play,” Miller said after last Friday’s win over Grambling State. “He’s a big part of our team, he’s a very good shooter, playmaker, gives us more depth.”

Miller expressed some frustration when asked when/if Kriisa will be eligible to play this season.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t have the NCAA’s phone number,” Miller said. “They don’t tell me what they’re going to do two weeks from now as it applies to amateurism and eligibility. We have our fingers crossed that at some point he can join us, like four or five other players from Europe that came here the same way he did.”