Christian Vital to return for junior season

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Christian Vital has announced his return to UConn after testing the waters with professional basketball. (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

Christian Vital has announced his return to UConn after testing the waters with professional basketball. (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

After tipping his toes into the realm of the pros, Christian Vital announced on Twitter today that he would be returning to UConn for the 2018-19 season.

In a tweet directed to new head coach Dan Hurley, Vital tweeted, “Great Talk Today Coach!” Appreciate the Wisdom You Have Let Me In On! I think It’s Time To Get Back To Winning Ways in Storrs! I’m going to need that #1 back ASAP! We GOT UNFINISHED BUSINESS! #BleedBlue”

On April 20, Vital declared eligible for the NBA draft but kept the door open at a return to school open by not hiring an agent. Vital’s decision to return comes after the 6-foot-2 guard was not selected to participate in the NBA Draft Combine, a killing blow to his chances of being drafted.

Vital averaged 14.9 points, 1.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game in his sophomore campaign.


Hurley had previously stated that any of the Huskies from Kevin Ollie’s tenure that were eligible to return would be welcomed back and Vital’s decision should be embraced. Although Vital’s play has been plagued by inconsistency, he brings a scoring touch to a backcourt that looked to be full of question marks entering the 2019 season.

If Vital had made the jump to the pros, the Huskies would have likely relied on three-star recruit Brendan Adams or injury-plagued Alterique Gilbert, who has played in just nine of a possible 65 games for UConn, to fill in Vital’s spot on the wing. Vital’s return ensures that UConn’s two leading scorers from last season will have one more chance to make a push for the postseason. Jalen Adams announced in April that he would return to UConn for his senior season and not test the NBA. Adams led the Huskies in scoring last season with 18.1 ppg.

With all scholarships filled and no more potential pros to wait on, it appears that the 2019 UConn Huskies have been fully assembled.


Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at bryan.lambert@uconn.edu.

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