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Virginia Tech Basketball: Pemsl’s official & Kabongo’s career comes to a close

Hokies’ roster makes two moves as Tech adds experience.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

As we wait to see what NCAA fall and winter sports will look like, the Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball team continues to prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 season. The second under head coach Mike Young is already shaping up to look like a much different squad. Over the past week the Hokies made two player announcements that gives Coach Young additional experience and height Tech lacked last season.

Welcome Cordell Pemsl

Virginia Tech announced the addition of a second experienced transfer this off-season. Pemsl arrives after three seasons at Iowa in the BIG 12 Conference. Cordell will have one year of eligibility remaining after red shirting early in the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury.

At 6’9” and 248 pounds Pemsl becomes the second addition to next year’s squad with much needed size and weight - joining Keve Aluma (6’9” / 240 pounds). Last year Landers Nolley was the tallest Hokie (6’7” / 225) to play significant minutes as John Ojiako continues to develop.

Over his three full seasons for Iowa he averaged a 55% shooting accuracy rate, 4.2 rebounds and 5.8 points. Seeing a slightly reduced role last season as he returned from injury and now eligible to transfer and play immediately, Pemsl is looking to contribute right away in his last season of college basketball. Cassell Coliseum will welcome the additional height, experience and depth to next year’s roster.

A Career Cut Short for Jonathan Kabongo

After missing out on the entire 2019-20 season due to injuries, Tech has confirmed that Kabongo has been forced into an early retirement. It is unfortunate to see a player have their career ended due to injuries, especially after only getting to play one season. During his first year in Blacksburg, Jonathan played in 21 games, shooting 39%.

Speaking on his exit from the program, Kabongo stated,

“I would like to thank Virginia Tech Basketball for still allowing me to complete my education at this amazing institution,” Kabongo said. “My academic experience here has been amazing and I’m excited to finish strong! I also just want to take the time to remind anyone who feels defined by what they are known for, to remember that it’s not the end of the world when it’s no longer a part of your life. We can be anything we want to be, and if you feel like what you used to be is not you anymore, don’t let the reputation of your past hold you back.”

In other Hokies basketball news, there is a rumor that P.J. Horne may be considering the transfer portal, but that remains unconfirmed at the moment. In the coming days Gobbler Country will have another post looking at the updated Hokies roster heading into next season by position and year.