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D.J. Haley departs Rams to focus on academia

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RICHMOND, Va. – An announced departure from the Rams on the eve of the Atlantic-10 conference.

Virginia Commonwealth University announced that Junior D.J. Haley, a seven-foot center,  informed the VCU coaching staff that he will no longer be a part of the men’s basketball program.

The Palmdale, Calif. native studies mechanical engineering and said that has chosen to focus his attention on his academic interests and step away from basketball.

“We appreciate DJ’s contributions to our program over the past three years,” Head Coach Shaka Smart said. “Unfortunately, he has decided that his heart is no longer invested in basketball. Clearly it takes a significant commitment to compete as a student-athlete at this level and we understand that DJ’s priorities have changed.  We wish DJ nothing but the best for his future.”

Haley played in 102 games for the Black & Gold, including 48 starts. He averaged 2.1 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Haley became a Ram in the year that the team busted brackets and pushed into the Final Four in Houston, in 2011.