University of Minnesota men's basketball coach Dan Monson announced today that junior guard/forward Steve Esselink (Hills, Minn./Hills) will transfer at the end of the school year. Esselink will transfer to a Division II or III institution and will be eligible to play next season.
"Steve has one more year of eligibility and wants to play a more prominent role next season," said Monson. "We wish him the best of luck. He was a great team player and worked hard in his time here to make us a successful program. We appreciate his efforts."
Esselink averaged 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 29 games last season for the Golden Gophers. He played 9.7 minutes per game and shot .333 (20-60) from three-point range on the year. Esselink transferred to Minnesota after his freshman season at Augustana College where he averaged 6.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 1999-2000.
"It's my last year to play college basketball and I want to have the opportunity to get more playing time," said Esselink. "I want to thank Coach Monson and the staff for making me a better basketball player over the past three seasons. I'll miss being a Golden Gopher, but I'll miss my teammates most of all."
In addition, freshman forward Roye Arie will not return to the team next season due to NCAA eligibility requirements. Arie, from Ramat Hasharon, Israel, was ineligible this past season.