Former Cougs Bamba, Wilson announce transfer destinations

Villanova and Minnesota will each play host to former Cougs



WSU guard TJ Bamba drives toward the hoop during an NCAA men’s basketball game against Utah, Dec. 4.

HAYDEN STINCHFIELD, Evergreen sports co-editor

The Cougs have managed to keep the team more intact this year than last, but still, two different players who got minutes last season have announced the schools where they will look to finish out their college careers strong: TJ Bamba and Jack Wilson.

Bamba is the most significant Coug to transfer. He is coming off a junior season in which he improved greatly, going from 7.7 points per game up to a team-leading 15.8. Bamba played in and started 31 games for the Cougs.

After declaring for the draft and then deciding to transfer to either Georgia Tech or Villanova, Bamba announced his decision to finish his college career in Pennsylvania at Villanova University.

“It was extremely difficult,” Bamba told two days before the announcement, “Washington State is like a home to me. It’s a family and a brotherhood.”

WSU is located in an isolated rural town whereas Bamba’s home is across the country in New York. The need to be home greatly factored into his decision to transfer.

“It all has to do with being on the East Coast,” Bamba said. “[Villanova] is close to home and [there is] a chance for my parents to see me play more often. I just knew I wanted to play the end of my college career closer to home.”

Bamba hopes to make the jump to the NBA after his season at Villanova. His contributions to WSU during an important stretch of years will not be forgotten.

WSU guard TJ Bamba flies upward after dunking the ball during an NCAA basketball game against UW, Feb. 11, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

The other transfer is the last of many in a career full of intrigue. Wilson, who most know as the basketball player turned offensive lineman turned basketball player again, is transferring to Minnesota for his final year of basketball eligibility. Wilson did not play much for the Cougs last year, but he was a big story and received some of the loudest cheers of the season whenever he checked in to a game.

“I look forward to sharing what I’ve gained through my experiences with those around me and doing whatever I can for this team and staff at the University of Minnesota,” Wilson said in his social media announcement.

WSU guard DJ Rodman and Jack Wilson celebrate senior night before an NCAA men’s basketball game against Oregon, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Wilson’s rollercoaster across collegiate athletics continues, and while he did not play much basketball at WSU, he endured himself to WSU fans.

Both Bamba and Wilson will certainly be cheered on in their future pursuits, even if those are not taking place here at WSU.