After four years at Indiana, senior guard Aljami Durham announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that he will transfer to Providence.
Durham participated in Senior Day ceremonies at IU at the end of the season and gave every indication he would move on after four years at Indiana in which he obtained his degree and scored 1,035 career points. Though he initially planned to simply move on from college and try to play professionally, he put his name in the transfer portal a few days after Indiana’s season ended to see what kind of options he would have. Durham has a fifth year of eligibility only because the NCAA is not counting the 2020-21 season against anyone’s eligibility because of the complications to the season caused by COVID-19.
“First, Thank you Hoosier nation for 4 years full of lessons and growth that i will take on my next journey,” Durham said on his account. “With that being said i will be using my 5th year of eligibility and i will be a grad transfer at Providence University.”
Durham played in 123 games and started 97 in four years with the Hoosiers. He averaged 8.4 points per game, including a career high 11.3 points per game this season. He also finished with 272 career rebounds,, 240 career assists, 59 career steals and 128 career 3-pointers.
Aljami Durham Sr., Al’s father and his former coach with the travel program Southern Stampede in Georgia, said Durham heard from dozens of programs from all over the country, mentioning Duke, Florida, Arkansas, Michigan, Florida State, Gonzaga, Georgia, Texas Tech, Texas, Connecticut, St. John’s and Miami. However, Providence and coach Ed Cooley had shown interest going back to when Durham was recruited the first time and he believed it would be the best fit.
“He had options,” Durham Sr. said. “Everyone was calling. He had a list. He could have went anywhere. But he wanted to go somewhere that fits what he’s trying to do. He definitely wants to play professionally. There are some things he needs to improve on to show what he can do, which we know he can do, and he thought that was a good spot.”
Durham Jr. grew up mostly in Georgia, but his father grew up in The Bronx, and he took Al Jr. there every summer for to play in outdoor pick-up games and all-star events, so Providence counts as closer to home as does the East Coast style of play. With the Friars he’ll get an opportunity to play the point next to second-team All-Big East guard David Duke.
“They always kept in contact and checked on him,” Durham Sr. said. “I think the biggest thing was the relationship with the coach. Then style of play. They’re open, they run and move the ball. The returning pieces they have coming back. David Duke if he decides to come back, with them two in the backcourt, they have a shot to contend, not only in the Big East but beyond that.”
Durham Sr. said his son noticed Indiana’s hiring of Mike Woodson and thought it seemed like a good fit for IU, but were already far enough along in the process by the time the move was made.
“Indiana is his home,” Durham Sr. said. “That’s his home for the last four years, poured out his blood, sweat and tears there, so anything with Indiana he’s definitely going to listen. But by the time they hired a new coach he had established that relationship and listened to these other schools. That’s what he was gonna do.”
This marks the formal end to the career of one of the most beloved IU players of his era. A skinny guard rated No. 230 nationally in the Class of 2017 by Tom Crean, Durham re-upped his commitment with Indiana when the Hoosiers hired Archie Miller as Crean’s replacement. His father told him to prepare to be recruited over and that he would have to work extremely hard to stay on the floor. He would have to give Miller and his coaching staff no choice but to play him, and over four years he did.
“He played,” Durham Sr. said. “He started. No matter who they had, he absolutely stayed on top. I knew that wouldn’t be an issue. He’s going to work his butt off. He’s going to go hard, work on his game, in the gym, 24/7. That didn’t worry us that he was going to go there and they were going to recruit other guys. That just made him better.”
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