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Carton takes leave from Ohio State basketball program
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Carton takes leave from Ohio State basketball program

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Ohio State freshman D.J. Carton celebrates after a play against Kentucky during a game in Las Vegas earlier this season. Carton is taking a leave of absence from basketball to address mental health issues he said Thursday night.

DJ Carton is stepping away from the basketball court for the immediate future.

The former Bettendorf standout and last year’s co-Mr. Basketball in Iowa posted on Twitter Thursday night he is temporarily leaving the Ohio State program to address mental health issues.

“In making this decision, I felt it was important to be transparent as to why I’m taking this break,” Carton’s statement read. “I have been suffering with mental health issues for a couple years. I have been through a lot. I’m disappointed to say I’m not 100% right now. I am not doing my teammates justice if I don’t work on this now.

“I am doing everything in my power to strengthen my mental health. I will fight for my team and Buckeye nation and I will come back stronger.”

The 6-foot-2 freshman point guard has averaged 10.4 points, 3 assists and 2.8 rebounds in nearly 24 minutes per game for the 13-7 Buckeyes. Carton primarily has been Ohio State’s sixth man this season.

In Ohio State’s last game Sunday, a 71-59 victory at Northwestern, Carton had a team-high 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. The Buckeyes host Indiana on Saturday.

Carton was ranked as a top 40 prospect coming out of high school. He led the Bulldogs to 21 wins and a share of the Mississippi Athletic Conference title last season.

“DJ remains a valued member of our program and we will continue to love and support him,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said in a statement. “Please respect the family’s privacy in this matter.”

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Thursday, Bettendorf grad DJ Carton made it official: he is leaving the Ohio State Buckeyes and entering the NCAA transfer portal, which means Div. I schools can now pursue him.

Two of them had fairly lengthy stays in the National Basketball Association. Two of them are now analysts for the radio broadcasts of Division I teams in the state. Several of them did some coaching, including two very successful current coaches of women’s teams. Many of them have gone on very successful business careers. Sadly, two of them also have passed away.

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