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Updated: February 18th, 2014 2:34pm
Wally Ellenson leaves Gophers basketball to focus on track at the 'U'

Wally Ellenson leaves Gophers basketball to focus on track at the 'U'

by Andrew Krammer
Email | Twitter

First-year head coach Richard Pitino has another scholarship to work with in turning around the Gophers basketball program. 

Wally Ellenson will withdraw from the basketball program to focus on high jump in track and field, a sport he's undoubtedly found more success than basketball in his young Gophers career. 

"We respect Wally's decision, and wish him, Coach Steve Plasencia and the Gophers track & field team nothing but the best this season," Pitino said in a statement. 

The 6-foot-4-inch Ellenson took high-jump gold at last summer's Pan American Junior Athletics Championships with a leap of 2.15 meters, or just over seven feet. 

The sophomore has appeared in just nine Gophers basketball games this season and has accounted for the fourth-fewest minutes on a roster of 14 players. He's taken just 22 shots, scored 16 points and hasn't played since the non-conference finale on Dec. 28. 

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer