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Transfer Josh Mballa receives waiver to play for UB men's basketball

The University at Buffalo men's basketball team will have one more piece to work with on its roster this season.

Josh Mballa, a transfer from Texas Tech, will be eligible to play for the Bulls this season, a UB athletic department spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. Mballa received a waiver from the NCAA that grants him eligibility for this season.

Mballa is a 6-foot-8 inch forward from France who played in 17 games last season with the Red Raiders, including Texas Tech's win against UB in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Mballa scored 13 points in 57 minutes on the season.

Rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals, Mballa played for the French national team in the FIBA U17 World Championships in 2016 and the FIBA U18 European Championships in 2017. He helped Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut win the national prep school title in 2018, on a team that included St. Bonaventure's Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi.

Mballa announced in June that he would transfer to UB, and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Mballa is one of two forwards to join the Bulls as a transfer from a Division I program. LaQuill Hardnett transferred from Cincinnati and received a waiver from the NCAA to play this season. He redshirted last season as a freshman with the Bearcats.

Under NCAA guidelines, players who transfer as undergraduates must sit out a year of competition unless they get a waiver.

Mballa and Hardnett, who are each 6-foot-8, should provide an immediate boost in the paint for the Bulls, who graduated 6-foot-8 forward Nick Perkins and 6-foot-10 forward Montell McRae.

The Bulls host Daemen College in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Alumni Arena.

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