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NIU

NIU's Threloff eligible to play immediately

Northern Illinois junior center and former DeKalb High School star Jordan Threloff has been granted the NCAA’s hardship waiver because of family reasons, and will be eligible to play for the men’s basketball team this season, NIU confirmed Monday.

The 6-foot-10 Threloff transferred to NIU from Illinois State this past spring. He averaged 2.5 points a game and 1.8 rebounds a contest in 21 games as a sophomore for the Redbirds in 2012-13, after scoring 3.2 points a game and averaging 3.3 rebounds in 30 games as a redshirt freshman in 2011-12.

“We are grateful that the NCAA has granted Jordan’s request,” NIU head coach Mark Montgomery said in a news release. “I am excited that Jordan will be able to participate fully with us this season and look forward to having his experience and physical presence on the floor.”

As a senior for DeKalb’s regional championship team in 2009-10, Threloff averaged 18.6 points and 12.4 rebounds, and was named Daily Chronicle Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

If the NCAA waiver wasn’t granted, Threloff would have had to sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules, and would have just one year of eligibility remaining, having already used his redshirt season at Illinois State in 2010-11.

He brings much-needed size to NIU, something that was a weakness for Montgomery’s team last year. The Huskies often had players like Abdel Nader (who has since transferred to Iowa State), and Keith and Kevin Gray playing out of position. NIU finished the season 5-25 (3-13 MAC) and was eliminated by Eastern Michigan in the first round of the MAC Tournament.

Threloff gives the Huskies a big body up front, and NIU will also have the services of 6-11 center Pete Rakocevic, who sat out last season after transferring from Sacramento State.

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