Boise State is getting one of its most vocal and inspirational leaders back for a bonus season.
Senior forward Abu Kigab announced Monday that he plans to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA because of the coronavirus pandemic, thereby returning for a fifth season with the men’s basketball team.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to play the game I love at a high level. I would also like to thank my parents, teammates and coaching staff for always pushing me to be the best version of myself on and off the court,” Kigab said in a post shared on Twitter and Instagram.
“Lastly, I would like to thank Bronco Nation for their dedication and continuous support of the program — your spirit is felt everywhere we go! With that being said, I am extremely excited to announce my return to Boise State University for my final chapter of eligibility. The mission remains the same: win at all costs.”
Kigab suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery in Boise State’s final conference game of the regular season — a 67-64 loss to Fresno State on March 2. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound defensive stalwart had started the Broncos’ first 25 games and finished No. 2 in scoring (11.8 ppg), rebounding (5.4 rpg) and steals (1.2). He was tops in blocked shots (22) and handed out 50 assists.
“Abu’s presence has elevated this program from the day he got here,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said in a news release. “I am thrilled he has chosen to finish what he started with us and put his trust in our program to help him reach his goals, while committing to being a part of a special team next year.
“I want to thank our administration and our supporters for stepping up and committing to the extra scholarship that will allow us to bring back a fantastic student-athlete, and for Abu to finish his college career the way he deserves.”
Kigab transferred to Boise State from Oregon in January 2019 and played his first game as a Bronco on Dec. 22, 2019. In his time at Boise State, the St. Catharines, Ontario, product has started 43 of 45 games. He scored in double figures 15 times during the 2020-21 season and was voted to the Mountain West second team by the league’s coaches and third team by the media.
Boise State expects to return 12 players from last season, including five players who have appeared in the starting lineup. Sophomore guard RayJ Dennis transferred to Toledo, and sophomore guard Donovan Ivory, who played in just three games last season, has put his name in the transfer portal. Redshirt senior Derrick Alston Jr. declared for the NBA Draft.