Illini recruit Javon Pickett requests release


Ryan Fang

Josh Whitman, director of athletics, introduces new Fighting Illini coach Brad Underwood on Monday, Mar 20 2017. Javon Pickett requests release from his National Letter of Intent.

By Tatiania Perry, Assistant sports editor

Saturday morning Illinois basketball recruit Javon Pickett asked for a release from his National Letter of Intent.

“Thank you to the University of Illinois for supporting my family and I during my recruitment,” Pickett said in a note posted on Twitter. “However, after the coaching change I experienced a level of apprehension due to the relationship my family and I developed with Coach Groce. After long thoughts and prayers I have decided to ask for my release from my NLI.”

Pickett is a three-star guard with limited options before committing to Illinois. According to Scout, his offers included Drake, Illinois State, Illinois-Chicago, Loyola Chicago and Tennessee State.

“Coach Underwood has been highly supportive during this transition, however I need to ensure that as a student-athlete I am putting myself in the best possible situation to succeed both as a student and athlete,” Pickett said in a Twitter post.

He is the second metro-east basketball recruit to make a break from the Illini and new head coach Brad Underwood. Jeremiah Tilmon, the 6-foot-11 five-star recruit from East St. Louis, asked out of his commitment Wednesday.

Like Tilmon, Pickett will keep Illinois on his radar.

“During this period I would like to stress that all options remain open to include the University of Illinois,” Pickett said in a Twitter post.

[email protected]