University of Virginia basketball announced Monday transfer Braxton Key will be immediately eligible to play this season after receiving a waiver from the NCAA.
The guard spent the past two years at the University of Alabama before transferring to the ACC school in May. He averaged 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 60 games with the Crimson Tide before switching schools.
He discussed his decision to transfer in May, via Jeff Goodman of EPSN:
"Alabama has taught me so much about my game and also about myself as a person, and I can't thank Coach Avery [Johnson] enough for the opportunity. But I am excited about the next chapter at Virginia. I chose Virginia because of the relationship with the coaches since high school. I love how close the team is, and it's my uncle Ralph Sampson's alma mater. I'll miss the Crimson Tide, but I'm so grateful for this next chapter."
While Key was initially expected to sit out a year under normal transfer rules, he applied for a hardship waiver with the NCAA. According to Drew Doughty of the Roanoke Times, he has an "older close family member who is in ailing health."
The guard is originally from Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, and went to local powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, where he was considered a 4-star recruit by 247Sports.
On the court, Key provides the Cavaliers with another versatile player who can guard multiple positions at 6'8". While he might take a back seat offensively to start the season, he is more than capable of carrying the squad on a given night thanks to his ability to slash to the basket.
Virginia was already listed as the No. 5 team in the country in Monday's preseason Associated Press poll, and the group is even more dangerous now going into 2018-19.