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Former ECHS star Gant leaving Mizzou
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Jakeenan Gant, the former Effingham County High School star, seen here in the GACA North-South all-star game, has decided to leave the University of Missouri basketball program. - photo by File photo

Former Effingham County High School basketball star Jakeenan Gant has announced he is leaving the University of Missouri.

The 6-foot-8 Gant, who was the player of the year in Georgia as a senior and led the Rebels to the Class AAAAA state championship game as a junior, averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 30 games this past season. For his two years at Mizzou, Gant averaged 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds over 53 contests.

Gant also was named the Class AAAAA player of the year after his junior season at ECHS.

“My time at Mizzou has been great and Coach Anderson and his staff really helped me develop as a player and person these past two seasons,” Gant, who finished his high school work in Missouri, said in a statement the school released. “I’ll miss Columbia, but feel the need to make a move with my family and mother in mind. I want nothing but the best for Mizzou in the future and appreciate the friendships I’ve made in my time here.”

In a statement, Coach Anderson said he and Gant discussed the sophomore’s future with Missouri basketball and Gant assured him of his commitment to the program.

“In the past few weeks, his mother has developed a medical condition that necessitates his return closer to home to continue his educational and athletic pursuits,” Anderson said in the statement. “While disappointed, we certainly support his decision. Jakeenan has been a joy to coach these past two years and all of us, coaches, teammates and staff wish him the best. We will do all we can to help in his transition.”

Prior to signing with Missouri in November 2013, Gant was rated the No. 47 prospect in the nation by