AMES, Iowa -- Naz Mitrou-Long cut his senior season at Iowa State short when he decided to apply for medical hardship just shy of the nine-game cutoff on Tuesday.
The decision, which was formally announced on Tuesday, came after Mitrou-Long had both hips surgically repaired during the offseason. The guard said he's been enduring persistent discomfort after having the surgery on his left hip on April 1 and also his right hip on May 7.
It seems likely the Big 12 will grant Mitrou-Long a fifth season.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for me,” Mitrou-Long said in a statement issued by the school. “As a player, there is nothing you want more than to help your team be successful. Following the surgery, I pushed myself incredibly hard to be ready for the season opener. As I’ve said before, I knew I might not be 100 percent, but I wanted to give it a go for my team. With that said, I feel the need to take time off to allow myself to rehab with our training staff to get back to where I can perform at my peak level on the basketball court.
However, with the senior scheduled to graduate soon, ESPN's Jeff Goodman speculated that perhaps Naz might consider transferring. Mitrou-Long not only shot down the suggestion, he gave the kind of Iowa State endorsement the university could use in recruiting.
"This is how I feel about that. If you haven’t lived in Ames and are on the outside looking in, you probably think Ames is just a plain place with a bunch of farms and a college community. But once you are here and once you've been here for as long as I have, you grow an emotional attachment to these people, this community and this school," Mitrou-Long said Wednesday. "To be a Cyclone is much more than people think and to everyone on the outside looking in, they don’t understand my relationship with this school and these people, and what it means that bleed these colors. People that say that is crazy. I dedicate myself. If I was thinking about transferring I would have transferred after my first year when I didn’t play a minute. I didn’t do that because I am committed to this place and I will always be a Cyclone.”