MISSOULA — Josh Bannan announced Monday that he is leaving the Montana Grizzlies to pursue a professional basketball career.
Bannan, a 6-foot-10, 222-pound forward from Melbourne, Australia, was a junior during the 2022-23 season and had two seasons of eligibility remaining. Bannan made the announcement on social media.
"I am excited to announce that I have decided to forgo my remaining college eligibility to begin my professional basketball career," Bannan wrote. "I feel honored to call myself a Griz. I started my college career as a Griz and I'll finish it as a Griz and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Bannan was a first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection this past season while averaging 15.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game to go along with a team-high 112 assists. He shot 50% from the field overall, 40% from the 3-point arc and and 77% from the foul line. Bannan averaged 35.1 minutes in 31 games. UM went 17-14 overall, 10-7 in league games and advanced to the semifinal round of the Big Sky tournament.
Bannan was a second-team all-conference selection as a sophomore following the 2021-22 season. For his career, he appeared in 91 games with 86 starts and scored 1,191 points. He is the second impact player to confirm his departure from the Grizzlies; Lonnell Martin Jr. announced earlier this month that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal.
Congrats to our guy @BannanJosh for chasing his dream of playing professionally in Australia! #GoGriz #GrizInThePros https://t.co/MYERuFLhkW— Montana Griz Basketball (@MontanaGrizBB) March 28, 2023
"It's been a ride," Bannan posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts while thanking head coach Travis DeCuire and the team's other coaches and training staff. "Thank you for welcoming me into this family. ... I committed here because I felt the coaches and the Missoula community were special, (and) my 3 years reaffirmed that.
"I also want to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, with whom I have built lasting friendships that I will cherish. My time as a (G)riz will forever have a special place in my heart and has prepared me for the next stage in my journey."