Zachery quits after death of grandfathers

Updated: December 23, 2003, 12:41 PM ET
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK -- Nick Zachery, leading scorer for Arkansas-Little Rock, has decided to leave the team, the university said Tuesday.

The university said in a news release that the deaths of both of Zachery's grandfathers helped lead to his decision.

"Nick has been an integral part of our team the past three years," UALR coach Steve Shields said. "However, with everything he's been through in the past six months, losing both grandfathers, it's important that Nick has the time and energy to focus on his future."

The senior guard had averaged 12.9 points a game this season and has his degree.

Zachery has said he wants to play professionally.

"I'm extremely proud of what Nick has accomplished in the classroom through his recent graduation. Nick has always had aspirations of playing at the next level and we wish him well in the future," Shields said.

Zachery got his diploma last week with a degree in health sciences.

For his career at UALR, Zachery averaged 13.9 points a game.

His relationship with the coaching staff has been rocky. At Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, he missed a 9 a.m. team breakfast attended by the rest of the team. Zachery spent most of the first half of that night's game on the bench.

During his junior year, then-coach Porter Moser dismissed him from a preseason practice and didn't start Zachery for the first six games.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press