Jeremiah Gambrell announces intent to transfer

Jeremiah Gambrell

Evan Culbertson

Although the premature cancellation of the 2019-20 men’s college basketball postseason occurred less than a month ago, WKU is already experiencing a shift in next season’s roster.

Redshirt freshman Jeremiah Gambrell has decided to enter the transfer portal, ending his short career in a Hilltopper uniform.

The guard’s decision to leave the Hill prematurely was revealed in a tweet posted by Verbal Commits Saturday afternoon, and Gambrell posted a tweet on his personal Twitter account Saturday night confirming his departure.

“My name is now in the NCAA Transfer Portal,” Gambrell wrote in the tweet. “I am thankful for everything and everyone at WKU. Very excited for the next chapter! #GodsPlan”

Hailing from Houston, Gambrell played 27 games in two years for the Hilltoppers and provided depth off the bench.

He averaged 1.3 points per game for his career, averaging 6.3 points per game in limited minutes off the bench this season. Gambrell also added 31 points and 22 rebounds for the Hilltoppers during the 2019-20 season, which was suddenly cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 180-pounder was hampered by multiple stress fractures in his leg throughout the 2018-19 season, keeping him sidelined for all but four games of his true freshman campaign and eventually earning him redshirt status prior to the 2019-20 season.

Gambrell didn’t play in the final two games of the year, but he provided a career-high seven points at Middle Tennessee State on Jan. 11, and also sank a key layup in an overtime victory against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 27, helping the Hilltoppers complete their 95-91 comeback.

97-year-old WKU superfan Lee Robertson, colloquially referred to as “Mr. Western,” spoke about Gambrell’s performance against LA Tech, a game Gambrell was forced into late due to team foul trouble, during a postgame press conference for head coach Rick Stansbury.

“Gambrell took that ball to the hole like he was a four-year veteran,” Robertson said. “And he juggled it in the air, but he had to adjust his shot, and he made it.”

Prior to his time at WKU, Gambrell averaged about 23 points per game as a senior at Madison High School, helping his team to a 21-12 record, a District 24-5A championship and multiple playoff victories.

Along with being named to the TABC 5A-all-state team, Gambrell was rated a three-star prospect by both 247Sports and Rivals in recognition of his standout prep career.

According to a recruiting timeline included on his 247Sports profile, Gambrell committed to Baylor on June 9, 2016, before decommitting from the Bears on Oct. 6, 2017. He committed to WKU days later on Oct. 14, 2017, and signed a letter of intent on Nov. 8, 2017. Baylor head coach Scott Drew is still in charge in Waco, Texas, and he could be interested in adding Gambrell to his roster once again.

Gambrell’s departure marks the 18th time a player has left the WKU men’s basketball program early under Stansbury since he became head coach on March 28, 2016.

Although WKU will be losing another veteran role player, Gambrell’s decision follows the March 24 commitment of point guard Zion Harmon, a consensus four-star guard in the Class of 2021, which indicates Stansbury is already hard at work recruiting and reloading his roster for future seasons.

Reporter Evan Culbertson can be reached at [email protected] Follow Evan on Twitter at @evan_culbertson.