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Dartmouth starting forward Knight to grad transfer to Loyola

  • Dartmouth College men's basketball player Chris Knight, right, looks up to the basket around Bryant's Hall Elisias (34) during a Dec. 21, 2019, game at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H.

  • Chris Knight

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/28/2020 10:04:07 PM
Modified: 1/2/2021 9:08:58 PM

Chris Knight is headed to the Windy City.

Knight, who started at forward the last two seasons for the Dartmouth men’s basketball team, told the Valley News on Sunday night that he is grad transferring to Loyola Chicago. A senior, he will graduate from Dartmouth in 2021 and have at least a year of eligibility remaining.

He could possibly play two seasons for the for the Ramblers since the NCAA has granted all players an extra year of eligibility for the 2020-21 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Knight ruptured his left Achilles tendon this summer during a workout and proceeded to enter the transfer portal to entertain all options. More than 50 schools initially reached out to him, but he narrowed down his list to Dartmouth, Loyola and Richmond.

“The reason why Loyola stood out was because they have a culture I can see myself fitting into,” said Knight, who averaged over 13 points and five rebounds a game in his three seasons with the Big Green. “There’s no real stars where someone feels like they’re better than the other players. They all play really hard and together, so it kind of reminded me of Dartmouth. I also appreciated how hard they recruited me.”

A two-time all-Ivy League selection, he considered returning to Hanover. But doing so would have required him to stop taking classes for nearly 10 months to maintain his eligibility as an undergraduate.

Knight said he was also weary of returning to Dartmouth after watching what happened to Brendan Barry when the Ivy League canceled winter sports.

Barry was forced to leave Dartmouth, transferring to Temple so he could play a final season of college basketball.

If the Ancient Eight allowed Knight to pursue a master’s degree at Dartmouth and play basketball, he said he wouldn’t be leaving.

Instead, he can now have part of a master’s degree in business administration paid for during his time with the Ramblers. Loyola has become well known in recent years for its Cinderella trip to the 2018 Final Four and the popularity of team chaplain, Sister Jean.

“I’m happy for him,” Big Green coach Dave McLaughlin said. “I think he made a good decision, and I think he put himself in a good position moving forward. … We’re thrilled for him; the only sour part is you would’ve loved to see him finish what he started, but with injury and COVID that wasn’t in the cards.”

Knight committed to Dartmouth when he was only 16 years old and enrolled at the age of 17. He was named Ivy League Player of the Week twice in the second half of the 2019-20 season and had the Big Green in position to possibly reach the conference tournament entering the final weekend of play.

Another season at Leede Arena may have seen him crack the top five all-time in blocked shots and field goal percentage.

He becomes at least the fourth player in McLaughlin’s five seasons with the Big Green to graduate from Dartmouth then transfer from the program. Only one player, Adrease Jackson, has ever left McLaughlin’s program before earning a degree.

Knight remains back home in New York City, still recovering from the ruptured Achilles, and plans to unofficially visit Loyola in the coming months.

He has hasn’t endured any setbacks, meaning he should be fully healthy by the start of the 2021-22 season.

“It’s been stressful, honestly, between handling school, recruitment and an injury,” he said. “It’s nice to know that the recruiting part will settle down now. It’s calming to know I don’t have pressure on me from coaches asking where I’m going to go.”

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com.




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