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Purdue basketball star transfers to Duke

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08: Mason Gillis #0 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts during the second half in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Mason Gillis’ time at Purdue might be over, but his collegiate basketball career is far from done. The 6-foot-6 forward announced on social media that he’s transferring to Duke.

Gillis has one year of eligibility remaining after spending five with the Boilermakers — four on the court, and one as a redshirt.

After being named the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year and helping lead Purdue to its first National Championship game since 1969, Gillis opted to explore other opportunities for this final year of NCAA eligibility.

“I will always be a Boilermaker, and nothing will ever match my time at Purdue. Moving forward, I will leave my eligibility open for college recruiting to continue my growth and development while pursuing my dreams of playing professional basketball,” Gillis wrote on Instagram last week.

The New Castle native has had a long journey to get to this point in his playing career. A knee injury cost him his senior season at New Castle High School plus his first year with the Boilers. He underwent two surgeries on his right knee within 10 months.

The Boilers stuck by Gillis through rehab, and eventually, Gillis earned a main role in head coach Matt Painter’s conference championship team.

Gillis has been a consistent contributor since making his West Lafayette debut in 2020. Last season, Gillis averaged 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds a game. He shot 47.9% from the floor, but most impressive was his growth from range. Gillis made 58 threes — 21 more than the previous year — while also improving to make 46.8% of deep shots.

The Duke Blue Devils are regular participants in the NCAA Tournament. This year, No. 5-seed Duke lost in the Elite Eight to No. 11-seed NC State before the Wolfpack got bounced by the Boilers in the Final Four.