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Arizona forward Ira Lee enters transfer portal

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 14 UTEP at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ira Lee already announced that he will not be returning to the Arizona Wildcats next season, but it appears he still plans to use his extra year of eligibility.

The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie is reporting that the senior forward has entered the transfer portal.

Not only does this mean Lee can keep playing basketball, but also continue his education. Perhaps he can land somewhere where he will have a more prominent role than he did at Arizona, where he was a four-year backup and averaged 3.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 13.1 minutes across 113 career games.

An energy player, Lee is well-regarded among UA fans and will be a valuable locker room presence anywhere he goes. He overcame plenty of highs and lows at the UA, including a DUI citation prior to the 2018-19 season and the FBI investigation during the 2017-18 season.

He departs as one of just eight Sean Miller-coached players to sign with Arizona out of high school and stay with the Wildcats for four years.

“Ira is a great kid,” Miller said a couple weeks ago. “He’s one of the most popular players on all four teams that he’s played on. And trust me, there’s a lot of guys that come and go during the four years he’s been here. So if you take inventory of what I just said, being a great teammate, really caring about the team that he’s a part of, respecting our basketball program, those are things that Ira gets an A+ in. He’s also going to graduate, and getting a degree from the University of Arizona alone is quite an accomplishment. So he’ll do that this spring and I also think that he’s been a key contributor and been able to impact each of the four teams that he’s been on.”

Terrell Brown Jr. is another UA senior who will have to decide on his future pretty soon, but as of now there is nothing to report.