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Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi will return to the Zags instead of going pro

His decision to return wasn't much of a surprise, but he's a valuable returner for the Zags.
Credit: AP
Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi goes up for a layup during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Santa Clara in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga men's basketball guard Joel Ayayi announced on Saturday he'll be returning to school instead of going pro.

His decision wasn't much of a surprise. Back in April, Ayayi told KREM 2 he was all but certain he was returning to Gonzaga. He just wanted to see where he stood in his pursuit of playing at the next level.

He told KREM 2 on Saturday he felt comfortable about returning even with the uncertainty of next season due to coronavirus.

"I talked to the coaches and I think I have a pretty good understanding of what will happen," he said.

Ayayi took over a starting position in the lineup in his sophomore season after coming off the bench the year before.

He averaged about 10 points, six rebounds and three assists per game last season.

Ayayi was also named the West Coast Conference Tournament's Most Outstanding Player as the Zags claimed the title.

The guard said he's ready to try and win a national championship after that opportunity was taken away from the team last season due to coronavirus.

"It will give me another year of fighting for the title," Ayayi said. "I felt we had a very good chance last year and hopefully we'll have a very good chance this year. It's just very exciting that we have a lot of potential and all we have to do is work hard and get together as a team."