University of South Carolina rising junior guard TeMarcus Blanton has announced that he will no longer play basketball for the Gamecocks. Blanton, who suffered a serious hip injury during preseason of his freshman year at Carolina (2014-15) that required surgery and months of rehabilitation before he was able to re-join his teammates on the court for the 2015-16 campaign, has received a medical counter exemption from the Southeastern Conference. Blanton will remain part of the South Carolina program as he continues to work towards his degree in interdisciplinary studies, which he is on pace to earn next May.
“After visiting with TeMarcus, he just cannot get his body to respond to continue to play basketball,” Gamecock head coach Frank Martin said. “It absolutely breaks my heart that somebody with such incredible spirit can no longer play, however, he will continue to be a big part of Gamecock basketball.”
Blanton saw action in 29 career games in the Garnet and Black, averaging 1.4 points and 1.0 rebounds per game. He saw action in 21 contests during the historic 2016-17 campaign, which included a career-high 12 points in the contest at No. 5 Kentucky in late January. Blanton has excelled in the classroom at Carolina, earning SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades each year of his career.
Blanton posted the following statement on his social media accounts earlier Tuesday morning.
“First off, I would just like to thank God for every blessing that he has blessed me with throughout my lifetime. From the bad times to the good times you were always there to make sure I made the best decision. Secondly, I would like to thank my family for always making a way to allow me to be successful. I literally do not know what I would be without y'all! Thirdly, I want to sincerely thank the coaches and the University of South Carolina for making me a better ball player and turning me into a better man. Lastly, thank you to all my friends and teammates for supporting me and my journey that basketball has taken me on, especially on the ride to the Final Four. THANK YOU EVERYONE! But my journey of basketball has come to an end. I suffered a serious hip injury that no one thought I was going to be able to come back from. But God allowed me to beat the odds and fight. I'm grateful and highly thankful for still having the opportunity to earn my degree at the University of South Carolina. Thank you BASKETBALL for finding a way for me, but this is my goodbye to you and my playing days. Time to begin a new career in life. Forever a Gamecock! #GamecockNation #ForeverToThee #SecuredTheBag #FinalFour”
per- USC Athletics