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Asprilla, Milian headed for Canisius

It was a good day away from the court for Canisius College.

Former Kansas State junior center Freddy Asprilla, who left the team earlier this month, is transferring to Canisius College according to Art Alvarez, Asprilla's Miami-based AAU coach. Also, Canisius received a verbal commitment from shooting guard Franklin Milian, who last year played at Our Savior New American on Long Island.

Asprilla and Milian are expected to sign National Letters of Intent with Canisius in April. Asprilla has one season of eligibility remaining and won't be eligible until December of 2012. Milian, who plays for Alvarez with his Miami Tropics organization, has four seasons of eligibility.

Asprilla and Milian sat behind the Canisius bench during Friday's game against rival Niagara.

At the time of Asprilla's transfer, Kansas State coach Frank Martin called it a "mutual decision" and said he expected Asprilla, a native of Villavicencio, Colombia, to "explore professional playing opportunities in his home country." Alvarez said Asprilla was going to enter June's NBA Draft.

But Asprilla's mother, who recently learned she had a brain tumor, wanted him to finish school. Canisius recruited Asprilla heavily before he decided to attend Kansas State, where he started 13 games and averaged 4.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in his first season with the Wildcats. He had transferred from Florida International.

"He only had a year to finish college so the decision was made to go back to school," Alvarez said. "We had an opportunity to visit other schools again but because he visited Canisius the first time around he loved what he saw here. He told me, 'I love Tom Parrotta and I'd like to go to Buffalo unofficially to see what's going on.' He's a Griff now."

Alvarez learned that Asprilla's mother had a brain tumor a month and a half ago but didn't tell the youngster.

"Finally, I had to come clean with the kid," Alvarez said. "He hasn't been right since."

The Kansas City Star reported that Asprilla was seen angrily leaving a practice earlier this month, knocking over a rack of balls while his teammates stayed on the court to run. But Alvarez said Asprilla leaving Kansas State had more to do with the health of his mom than problems with Martin.

"Things didn't feel right for him and he wanted to go back to Colombia and be with his mom during her operation," Alvarez said. "It wasn't anything negative with Frank. He just wanted to help his mother financially but his mother said, 'No, the pros will be there for you.' "

Asprilla was the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2009, and one of the top junior college prospects in the country.

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com

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