UMKC at CSUB Mens BBall_13

CSUB's Jarkel Joiner drives to the basket against UMKC during a game last year at Icardo Center.

Cal State Bakersfield men’s basketball’s top scorer Jarkel Joiner will return home to finish out his final two years of eligibility at Ole Miss, the guard said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday.

Joiner, who was honored as a first team All-Western Athletic Conference player and led the conference in scoring in WAC games during his sophomore year, originally made his intent to transfer public at the beginning of April. He will join Ole Miss in June, he wrote.

“I have grown as a man on and off the court,” Joiner wrote about his time at CSUB. “I appreciate the coaching staff for guiding me at this time in my life. I have formed an unforgettable bond and brotherhood with my teammates and have learned a lot from each of them.

“The relationships I have made at CSUB will never be taken for granted. It’s important to me that all of you know that you have played a vital role in my life and I am forever grateful.”

The Oxford, Mississippi native led the Roadrunners in 2018-19 with 15.6 points and 32.2 minutes per game. He was the only CSUB player to start all 34 games, shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from 3-point range.

As a freshman, Joiner played in all 30 games (27 starts) and averaged 10.4 points per game.

CSUB and head coach Rod Barnes were the first to offer Joiner a scholarship when he was a junior in high school. Ole Miss never offered Joiner a scholarship, which was hard for him to handle, Oxford (Mississippi) High School coach Drew Tyler said. But Middle Tennessee State and then-head coach Kermit Davis did.

Davis took over as the head coach of Ole Miss in 2018 and recently earned a contract extension. Now Joiner will get a chance to play in his hometown and in front of his family, which rarely was able to come to Bakersfield to watch him play.

“I am Mississippi MADE,” Joiner wrote.

Jon Mettus can be reached at 661-395-7389. Follow him on Twitter: @jmettus.

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