Ted Kapita’s unique, brief tenure at N.C. State is likely over.
Kapita, an athletic 6-9 forward from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will likely “sign with an agent and play professionally,” according to an ESPN report.
An N.C. State spokesman did not have an update on Kapita’s status on Thursday. Kapita had entered his name in the NBA draft in April but had not signed with an agent. The deadline to return to school is May 24.
Kapita averaged 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 26 games for the Wolfpack during the 2016-17 season. He never could quite find a role in an uneven season.
He had a brilliant effort (14 points, 10 rebounds in 19 minutes) in N.C. State’s best win of the season (84-82 at Duke) but didn’t score in seven ACC games.
Just getting Kapita eligible was a surprise. He had been to three different high schools in the U.S. and had signed with Arkansas in 2015 but did not qualify academically. He spent a year at prep school before committing to N.C. State.
Kapita also reportedly had committed to play in pro leagues in France and the United States. The NCAA reviewed Kapita’s eligibility when he got to N.C. State, and he was cleared on the day of the Wolfpack’s season-opener.
Back in November, Kapita refuted the reports that he had agreed to play in either professional league.
He missed the first game while waiting for the NCAA. He then missed three more when the team traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands for a tournament.
Kapita had an student-visa issue, and N.C. State was concerned he could have problems getting back into the country. Instead of risking the chance of being detained or deported, he stayed in Raleigh.
When the team got back, Kapita’s role fluctuated. He played 28 minutes in a road loss to Illinois on Nov. 29 but only 2 in N.C. State’s first ACC home game, a 26-point win over Virginia Tech. Kapita didn’t play at all in a pair of January ACC games.
Kapita has outstanding athletic ability, but he’s not projected to go in the NBA draft. He could land on a pro roster with a European club.
With Kapita’s exit, new N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts only has two scholarship forwards on the roster (senior Abdul-Malik Abu and senior Lennard Freeman).
Big man Omer Yurtseven has entered the NBA draft, and worked out at the combine, but has not signed with an agent. Keatts said earlier this week there was a “50-50” chance Yurtseven could return to school.
In an email correspondence, Yurtseven’s father, Erdogan, said his son will go through individual team workouts before he makes a decision early next week.
N.C. State already has two underclassmen – Maverick Rowan and Dennis Smith Jr. – in the draft to stay. Smith, a projected lottery pick, is the only one expected to be picked.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio