Bama basketball player ends on-court career

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WSFA) - Rising redshirt junior Andrew Steele will not be on the court for the Crimson Tide next season, due to lingering concussion symptoms, head coach Anthony Grant announced Friday.

"Andrew has decided that, in the best interest of his long-term health and well-being, it is best to discontinue his basketball career at this time," Grant said. "We are saddened that he will no longer compete as a member of our team, howevere, we are extremely grateful for the contributions and dedication he has given our University and the character and selflessness with which he has represendted our program."

Grant added that Steele will stay on scholarship as a medical harsdhip, and will remain with the team in a different role.

A Birmingham native, Steele suffered his fourth concussion in the final minutes of the Tide's SEC Tournament loss to Kentucky on March 12. He did not play for the rest of the season or in Alabama's NIT run.

After the season, Steele was held out of physical activites for two months, but upon his return, he began to experience the return of symptoms resulting from a concussion.

"This was something I had to pray about a lot and talk to my parents and the medical staff about," Steele said. "It was a realization that this was a situation where I had to make the best choice for my long-term health after basketball."

Steele averaged 4.0 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 19 games during the 2010-2011 season.

He will continue to be monitored and evaluated during his remaining time at Alabama while pursuing a degree in marketing.

Steele says future injury is something he's just not willing to risk.

"It was a hard decision, but it was a choice between something [basketball] I had been doing my whole life and something that could affect the rest of my life going forward. For me, it wasn't worth taking the potential risk."