Chris Boyle, Daytona Beach News-Journal
Published 12: 04 p.m. ET June 27, 2020 | Updated 12: 04 p.m. ET June 27, 2020
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Mississippi junior basketball player Blake Hinson, who entered the NCAA’s transfer portal last week, plans to transfer to Iowa State.
The 6-foot-7 forward will apply for a waiver to gain immediate eligibility. In a phone interview, Hinson said there were factors beyond basketball that influenced his decision to leave.
“To make a general statement, it was time to go and leave Ole Miss,” Hinson said. “I’m proud not to represent that flag anymore and to not be associated with anything representing the Confederacy.”
“That flag” refers to the state flag of Mississippi, which includes the emblem of the Confederate battle flag. Last week, Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey said that until the emblem is removed, the conference would not hold championship events in Mississippi. The NCAA followed suit and banned all postseason activity from being played in the state, including baseball and softball regionals, until the flag is changed.
Ole Miss’ nickname is the Rebels. The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning voted last week to relocate a Confederate statue, erected in 1906, from its current location near the university’s administration building. A Confederate cemetery is located south of Tad Smith Coliseum, the former home arena for the Ole Miss men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Hinson started 58 of 60 games and averaged 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 2019-20. The Rebels qualified for the NCAA tournament and won 20 games during Hinson’s freshman season but slumped to a a 15-17 record this season.