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Jan. 7, 2005

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina men’s basketball coach Dave Odom announced Friday that sophomore center Paulius Joneliunas has asked for and received his release to transfer to American University (Washington, D.C.).

“Paulius has been a pleasure to have as a person and as a student-athlete,” said Odom. “It is difficult to let him go but I agree it is in his best interest. The opportunity to play regularly and to reach his goals as a player can be realized at American University. I wish him the best and will continue to support him in every way.”

“After several discussions with Coach Odom and the staff, I have decided to transfer to American University,” said Joneliunas. “Making this decision to transfer has been the hardest thing that I have ever done. I have enjoyed my time here and will miss the coaches and my teammates. At this time though I feel that my basketball potential can be better realized at American and that I will have more of an opportunity for playing time there.

“I would like to thank the fans of the University for their support during my time here, thank the coaches who have taught me so much and thank my teammates for their friendship,” said Joneliunas.

Joneliunas, a 6-11, 240lb. native of Vilnius, Lithuania, was averaging 1.3 ppg this season and had played in three games. In the past two years he played in 16 games, averaging 4.4 mpg, 1.0 rpg and 0.8 ppg.