Patrick Brennan / Sports editor
Former Ohio State men’s basketball forward J.D. Weatherspoon said he felt relieved after making his decision to transfer to Toledo, where he will continue his basketball career.
After playing two years for the Buckeyes with a minor role, the 6-foot-6 sophomore said he’s looking forward to a new opportunity and a change of scenery.
“I’m looking forward to starting fresh in a new atmosphere,” Weatherspoon said. “Coach Matta thought this was in the best interest for my future, so I wasn’t about to argue with him. He really looked out for me and I’m glad he told me.”
Matta said he wished Weatherspoon success with his decision and said the team valued his work ethic.
“His teammates and our staff appreciate the hard work J.D. has put in to make our team better,” Matta said in a press release. “We wish him nothing but the best.”
During his two seasons with the Buckeyes, Weatherspoon averaged 2.7 points and one rebound in the 35 games he played. Over that span, he averaged about six minutes of court time per game.
Weatherspoon said he just wants an opportunity to play the game that he has invested so much of his time in.
“When you’re coming out of high school going to college, you didn’t get a scholarship to sit the bench,” Weatherspoon said. “You want a scholarship to play basketball.”
Weatherspoon found the scholarship he was looking for with a little help from Ryan Peadon, an assistant coach for Toledo’s basketball team.
Peadon said he has a Columbus background so he knew exactly what kind of player Toledo was getting in Weatherspoon.
“I’ve seen him play since he was a freshman in high school, so I knew all about him,” Peadon said. “We knew he was a tremendously athletic player, we knew that he was very talented and we knew that he was very versatile.”
Peadon said Toledo reached out to Weatherspoon and his coaches after hearing he was released from his scholarship.
“We touched bases with his high school coaches, AAU coaches and then we talked to him last because we had to get a feel for what he was thinking,” Peadon said. “I told him I think we would have a great opportunity for him here at Toledo and that it would be a great situation for everybody.”
Weatherspoon said the relationship and comfort level with Toledo’s coaches played a big role in his decision.
“Coach Peadon and coach (Tod Kowalcyzk) kept it real with me and that’s what I really liked about it,” Weatherspoon said. “They told me the truth saying they really needed me and they felt like I could help out to make the school a better place.”
Weatherspoon said staying relatively close to his hometown, Columbus, also came into play when making his decision to transfer to Toledo.
“It was really important because my family, friends and fans can still come see me play, so everyone was happy,” Weatherspoon said.
Weatherspoon will have two years of eligibility with Toledo starting in 2013-14. Weatherspoon said he will be working hard even though he won’t play for the Rockets in the upcoming season.
“Oh yea, I’m going to take my game and studies to another level,” he said.
Weatherspoon said his experience at OSU has been good and that he’ll miss the fans more than anything.
“It was very fun. You know just being a hometown kid so I really knew a lot about the tradition,” Weatherspoon said. “Of course I’m going to miss my fans because, you know, that’s the biggest supporters. You don’t forget about them wherever you go.”