Donnie Tillman to take “leave of absence” from Runnin’ Utes

University of Utah junior forward Donnie Tillman will take a personal leave of absence from the team, citing the health concerns of his mother.

The 2018-19 Pac12 Sixth Man of the Year had this to say in a Utah Athletics press release: “It is with a heavy heart that I share with Utah fans that I will not be returning to the Utes this fall,” Tillman said. “I have always respected and admired Utah’s commitment to academics, athletics and family. The Ute fans have always shown me unwavering support, as well. I respect both the University and the fans more now for understanding my wanting to be with my mother at this time, as her ongoing health issues continue. Coach Krystkowiak believes in putting family first and I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to follow in his lead.”

Donnie will return home to be with his mother as she battles what the team calls “ongoing health issues.

Tillman started in 15 of 31 games in his sophomore campaign, averaging 10.5 PPG and 5.3 RPG.

“Donnie has made an admirable decision to be near his mother as she battles health issues,” said Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I wish he and his mother, Donna, nothing but the best and I would like to personally thank DT for his contributions to our program.”

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