Matt Knowling said he and his family gave it some thought about what to do regarding his immediate future with the Yale University men’s basketball program. But Knowling didn’t change his decision.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to campus and see what happens,” Knowling said.
Knowling is an incoming freshman at Yale. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Knowling starred at East Catholic High, earning New Haven Register/GameTimeCT State Player of the Year honors as a senior.
The Ivy League decided on Wednesday to cancel all sports for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowling said he met virtually with some of his future teammates on Thursday, then with Yale men’s basketball coach James Jones on Friday morning. Knowling’s parents joined the Zoom call going over the player’s options.
“We considered taking a gap year,” Knowling said. “I want to spend all four years playing college basketball at Yale. If I lose a year of eligibility, I can have a grad transfer year.”
Knowling, an Ellington resident who won’t turn 18 until Aug. 6, said he will report to campus the week of Aug. 24. While the freshmen, juniors and seniors can live on campus for the fall semester, the sophomores cannot. Then come the winter semester, the sophomores switch with the freshmen and reside on campus.
If Yale does have some semblance of a basketball season, Knowling said the players can remain on campus. If the season is canceled, then he won’t be in the spring semester. The team can conduct practices even if there is no season.
Also, if the season is canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that means Knowling would have one more year of eligibility following graduation.
“I’m eager to be on campus and get after it,” Knowling said. “The last couple of months, there has been a lot of uncertainty. Once (the Ivy League) came out with its decision, there was a lot of relief (figuring out) how to go about next year. I know what’s best for me is to be around the guys, get used to the system and work out with the coaches.”
Knowling said he will start out majoring in statistics. His long-term career goal is to work in the front office for a professional team.