After a few weeks in the infamous Transfer Portal, it appears that former Georgetown Hoyas forward Jamari Sibley has found a new home at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) of Conference USA, with new coach Joe Golding (formerly of Abilene Christian).
UTEP made a press release with the announcement:
EL PASO – UTEP head coach Joe Golding announced his fourth signee as Jamari Sibley will join the basketball program starting in the 2021-22 season. Sibley is a 6-8 forward who played in 21 games as a freshman at Georgetown. Sibley will have four years of eligibility to play due to COVID free year...
Jamari Sibley, 6-8, Forward, Georgetown Milwaukee, Wis.
PRIOR TO UTEP: Played in 21 games (116 minutes) while at Georgetown during freshman season (2020-21) … totaled 25 points, 19 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots … hit 10-of-21 from the field (47.6 percent), along with a pair of 3-point buckets … tallied a season-high seven points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor, while adding a season-best three rebounds versus Marquette … played a season-high 11 minutes at DePaul, scoring four points on a 2-for-2 effort from the field … tallied four points, a rebound and steal at Seton Hall … recorded two points, two boards and blocked shot at Syracuse … grabbed a trio of boards against Providence … scored three points on 3-of-4 shooting from the foul line and tallied two rebounds against Creighton … saw action in the NCAA Tournament against Colorado … completed a prep year at Oak Hill Academy (Virginia) after closing high school career at Nicolet in Wisconsin … efforts surged Nicolet to the Division 2 state title during season year, averaging 19.1 points per game on 59 percent shooting from the floor and 7.4 rebounds per contest … at the D2 state tourney, averaged 18 points and 7.5 rebounds per game … posted 23 points and nine rebounds in the title game.
”We are very excited that Jamari has chosen to continue his basketball career at UTEP. He’s a very talented young man who can change the game on both sides of the floor. He’s played on the most competitive stages of basketball since a young age. Jamari’s been a winner everywhere he’s played including a state championship in high school and an NCAA tournament appearance last year. I know that Miner nation is going to enjoy watching him player over the next four years.” -Head Coach Joe Golding on Sibley
On May 17, 2021, Patrick Ewing announced Sibley would be be leaving the Georgetown Hoyas and enter the transfer portal. Sibley is a rising sophomore with three years left plus a bonus year of eligibility due to COVID.
Georgetown released a statement saying:
WASHINGTON – Georgetown University freshman men’s basketball player Jamari Sibley entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday.
“I wish Jamari all the best in his future. He’s a good kid and he works hard,” Head Coach Patrick Ewing said.
Sibley appeared in 21 games during the 2020-21 season, averaging 1.2 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting in 5.5 minutes per game.
Georgetown finished the season with a 13-13 record, making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Hoyas went 7-9 in BIG EAST play, before winning four games in four days to win the 2021 BIG EAST Tournament for the program’s league-best eighth title.
Sibley scored 25 points in 117 minutes this past season. The slender forward’s shot looked good at times, but he couldn’t find consistent minutes with Patrick Ewing’s squad.
Somewhat controversially, Patrick Ewing did not play Sibley much (if at all) in several early games, saying, “When I think he’s ready to play, that’s when he’ll play.”
The potential for a frustrated player was there but Sibley remained calm, if not stoic. A mid-May announcement of transfer seems a bit late as rosters are firming up and the portal hits 1,600. With the NCAA’s bonus eligibility, Sibley has four years of college basketball available.
Some fans have noted Sibley’s coincidental portal timing with regards to the announcement of his friend Patrick Baldwin, Jr. to attend UW-Milwaukee where Baldwin’s father coaches.
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Fan expectations were high for Sibley coming in. As a 6’8” four-star, top-100ish recruit out of Wisconsin, Sibley was highly touted before breaking his arm/wrist playing with Oak Hill Academy.
Entering the season, he was Ewing third-highest ranked incoming recruit, behind Jamorko Pickett and James Akinjo. Sibley committed to Patrick Ewing on November 29, 2019—right before the Great Defection and recruit Terrance Williams decommitted. He stuck with the team and earned that 2020-21 BIG EAST Tournament Championship banner.
At the time, Hoyasaxa18 wrote about Sibley and his selection of Georgetown (over Iowa):
At 6’8” with a long and lean build, Sibley runs the floor extremely well and is a good finisher with both hands at the rim. He is a quick leaper and will often look to dunk when he gets an opportunity. Later in his high school career, he has shown flashes of a diverse skill set, with a nascent face-up game and a willingness to use a turnaround jumper from the mid-range.
Sibley, of course, will always be remembered as part of the BIG EAST Tournament Championship team—however, the current roster certainly appears different now, hopefully with an influx of talent.
Good luck to Jamari in the future. We wish him the best.