Former North Carolina center Sterling Manley will not play for the Gophers next season after announcing on Wednesday that he will pursue a professional basketball career next season.

After entering the transfer portal in the spring, the 7-foot Manley was in constant contact with new Minnesota coach Ben Johnson, but he decided before the July 7 deadline not to return to college.

At UNC, Manley averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 58 games, but he was limited to three games the last two seasons after recovering from torn cartilage in his left knee.

Finally healthy this year, the Pickerington, Ohio native heard from a number of high major programs after entering the portal. The Gophers appeared to be the best fit if he came back to school.

Johnson has added 10 newcomers to the 2021-22 roster and center Eric Curry announced Tuesday that he will return to play this season for the Gophers instead of becoming a graduate assistant. Curry and Treyton Thompson, a 6-11, 190-pound incoming freshman from Alexandria, are the only centers on the roster.