Griffin transfers from Iowa State to UIC

When Zion Griffin was a child, his grandfather took him to see men's basketball games at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Griffin's finally headed back.

The Hinsdale South graduate, the Daily Herald DuPage County All-Area Basketball Captain in 2017-2018, is transferring from Iowa State to play for the Flames and new coach Luke Yaklich.

Yaklich, an assistant coach at Illinois State from 2013-17, actually recruited Griffin in high school. Griffin had ISU on his list of final four college choices before he ultimately picked Iowa State.

While familiarity with Yaklich played a big role in Griffin picking a landing spot - he was also considering Ball State and Grand Canyon University - the main reason for transferring was quite simple.

"I wasn't playing (at Iowa State)," he said. "Just getting a chance to play is the biggest thing. Getting out there with a new group and a new mindset, that's what I'm most looking forward to."

After averaging 21 points and 9 rebounds his senior year at Hinsdale South, Griffin played in 17 games as a freshman at Iowa State and 30 games as a sophomore. Last season, however, he played an average of fewer than 10 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-6 forward already has been in contact with some of his future UIC teammates. He feels comfortable with his decision even though the stay-at-home order issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from visiting the campus.

"I'm very comfortable," Griffin said. "My friends and everyone being able to come out and watch me play, that'll be good. Everything happens for a reason, and I think my leaving Iowa State happened for a reason."

Twitter: @kevin_schmit

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