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UCLA men’s basketball’s Abramo Canka enters transfer portal

Guard/forward Abramo Canka defends on the perimeter. The UCLA men’s basketball freshman reportedly entered the transfer portal Wednesday, marking the first Bruin to transfer out of the program since Jake Kyman in 2022. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Jon Christon and Sam Settleman

May 10, 2023 3:40 p.m.

A month and a half into the offseason, and the Bruins have finally had their first portal casualty.

UCLA men’s basketball freshman guard/forward Abramo Canka has entered the transfer portal, multiple outlets reported Wednesday afternoon. UCLA was previously one of just two collegiate basketball programs to not lose a player to the portal this offseason, with Duke the only other school without a transfer.

Before Canka’s departure, coach Mick Cronin had not lost a transfer since last offseason when guard/forward Jake Kyman left for Wyoming.

Canka saw limited opportunity off the bench early in his freshman season with UCLA, and chances became few and far between for the guard/forward by the time the Bruins entered Pac-12 play.

The 6-foot-7 wing averaged just 5.5 minutes per contest and put up just 27 shots across the season, playing far fewer minutes than UCLA’s freshman trio of guards Amari Bailey and Dylan Andrews and forward Adem Bona.

Canka came to Westwood as a relative unknown compared to the likes of Bailey, Andrews and Bona, but the Italian product had shown promise with Team Italy as a versatile wing who could contribute on both sides of the ball. He ends his UCLA career with just 22 games played.

With the departure of guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. to the NBA Draft, Canka was slated to see increased opportunity in year two despite the addition of Utah transfer wing Lazar Stefanovic.

However, Bruin Report Online reported Wednesday that Canka’s departure could be due to a roster crunch despite the Bruins having only nine of 13 scholarships confirmed for next season. The Bruins are likely holding two scholarships open for a pair of potential NBA Draft process returnees in Bona and junior guard Jaylen Clark, but UCLA still has two open scholarships to work with as the offseason moves along.

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Jon Christon | Sports senior staff
Christon is currently a Sports senior staff writer. He was previously the Sports editor on the men's basketball and football beats and the assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis beats. Christon was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and softball beats.
Christon is currently a Sports senior staff writer. He was previously the Sports editor on the men's basketball and football beats and the assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis beats. Christon was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and softball beats.
Sam Settleman | Sports editor
Settleman was the 2022-2023 Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
Settleman was the 2022-2023 Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
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