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Daniil Kasatkin Leaves Penn State Basketball Program

The Russia native will look to pursue a professional career, likely overseas.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State hoops will be down a letterwinner when it takes the court to start the season later this year.

The program released a statement saying that Russia native and rising sophomore Daniil Kasatkin would not be returning the program this year and will instead pursue a professional career.

Kasatkin, a 6-foot-7 guard who signed in the class of 2018, played sparingly for the Nittany Lions a year ago but had a strong showing with the Russian national team at the FIBA U20 European Championship this summer.

In seven games, he averaged nearly 20 minutes per game for the top-scoring team in the tournament. Russia made the semifinals of the tournament.

Kasatkin’s departure opens up a roster spot and leaves two scholarships free for the 2020 recruiting class. The Nittany Lions were recently named in the top six for 2020 3-star guard DJ Gordon of Pittsburgh, alongside VCU, Minnesota, Pitt, Providence and Iowa. Gordon took an unofficial visit to Penn State this past weekend.