Jerome Hunter’s final season of college basketball is starting much like his first.
The Xavier forward is out indefinitely with an undisclosed medical issue, the school announced Tuesday.
Hunter joined IU basketball with the class of 2018 and spent his first three years in Bloomington. He ended up taking a redshirt season as a freshman when an undisclosed medical issue ended his 2018-19 season just before it started.
Hunter dealt with a lower leg condition at IU. It is not clear whether he is experiencing a recurrence.
“Jerome Hunter is dealing with a medical issue that has sidelined him from all on-court basketball activities. Our medical team is working with Jerome to navigate a path for his return to full health. His timeline for a return to basketball will be established at a later time,” Xavier said Tuesday in a statement.
Hunter appeared on track for big things in 2023-24 after closing strong during the back half of last season. He averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds over 15 games, and was Xavier’s leading scorer during the NCAA Tournament.
Hunter left the IU program via the transfer portal not long after the Hoosiers hired Mike Woodson as head coach in 2021.
Woodson called Hunter’s departure a mutual decision.
“We decided to part ways,” Woodson said. ” … We just didn’t mix the way I think I wanted it to be between he and I. That’s no knock against him because I think he’s an excellent kid. We decided to part ways. He understood. I understood. He left here and still landed on his feet at Xavier. All I can do is wish him nothing but the best.”
Hunter arrived at Indiana in the Class of 2018 with a strong reputation, ranked No. 59 in the class in the 247Sports.com composite rankings. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder from Pickerington North High School in Columbus, Ohio, had an excellent first preseason, but it ended abruptly because of a still undisclosed leg condition that required surgery and cost him his entire first season.
He never seemed to fully recover from that lost time and he started a total of just four games and averaged 16.7 minutes per game combined in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons at Indiana. Former Indiana coach Archie Miller suggested he had the talent to be an All-Big Ten performer, but he averaged just 4.9 points per game in his two seasons, including 6.3 points per game in 2020-21.
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