Before playing in a single game for the Nittany Lions, Penn State freshman forward Joe Hampton is leaving the program and withdrawing from Penn State, the school announced. The 6-6 forward was regarded as a four-star recruit by ESPN.
“Joe has made the decision to leave the program based on personal reasons,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”
The news comes less than a year after an odd recruiting story for Hampton where he verbally committed to Penn State in August 2014, uncommitted in March 2015, and committed again in May 2015. He missed the entirety of his high school senior season at Oak Hill Academy with an ACL tear.
At the time of his recruitment, ESPN ranked Hampton as the 27th power forward in the 2016 class, commenting on his strength, hustle, and craft finisher in the lane. Entering college play, his 6-6 frame makes him undersized, so he will either need to grow a couple more inches or improve on an outside game that is a bit of a work in progress at this point.
His destination following his departure from State College is not yet known.
Penn State finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten conference standings in the 2015-16 season with a 16-16 overall record. They went 7-11 in conference play. They had two wins against top-25 teams in 2015-16, beating No. 22 Indiana and No. 4 Iowa. They also played No. 4 Maryland close in December before eventually losing in the final minutes of the game.