OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton University men's basketball center Gregory Echenique has been granted a medical hardship for the 2009-10 season and will have 2 1/2 years of eligibility remaining when he becomes eligible to play for the Bluejays in mid-December.
Echenique (Etch-ih-NEE-kay) spent three semesters at Rutgers University before transferring to Creighton in January. He averaged 8.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game as a freshman for the Scarlet Knights during the 2008-09 season. He was averaging 12.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in 2009-10 at Rutgers, but played in just seven games due to an eye injury that ended his season prematurely and eventually required surgery while still enrolled at the New Jersey-based school.
Because of that eye injury, school officials from Rutgers (his old school) and Creighton (his new school) worked together with the Big East Conference with the intent of gaining a medical hardship waiver, which was granted on Tuesday.
The 6'9" native of Venezuela will be listed as a sophomore on Creighton's 2010-11 roster. Though he can practice immediately, he will not be eligible to compete in games until the school's fall term ends in mid-December due to NCAA transfer rules.
“It’s excellent news for everyone involved to see Gregory get the medical redshirt we’ve been seeking,” said new CU head coach Greg McDermott. “He is a talented young man with a lot of potential and we are excited about having him in our program the next three years.”
Creighton finished the 2009-10 season with an 18-16 record and made a 13th straight postseason appearance. Last Tuesday the school announced the hiring of McDermott.