WINSTON-SALEM — Students are usually the ones that approach the semester break with the most anticipation and excitement. At Charlotte, no one is happier about the end of fall classes than basketball coach Mark Price. That’s because the end of the semester marks the start of Austin Ajukwa’s playing career with the 49ers. The Clemson transfer, who came to Charlotte last December, has had to sit out his new team’s first nine games while waiting for his eligibility to begin. After Tuesday’s game at Wake Forest, the wait is finally over. The 6-foot-7 wing will be available for the 49ers’ next game, on Dec. 17 at Florida. “I’m really excited. I know Austin is,” Price said following Charlotte’s 91-74 loss to the Deacons at Joel Coliseum. “Having to sit and watch the first nine games has been tough on him.” Ajukwa played in 55 games in his season-and-a-half at Clemson, 30 of which came as a freshman in 2014-15. He averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in just over 12 minutes a game and posted a career-high of 10 points in a game against Georgia Tech. A former three-star prospect who was named South Carolina’s independent high school Player of the Year as a senior, Ajukwa gives Charlotte a long, athletic player who can score, defend and help improve the 49ers’ matchups when playing upper-level teams such as Wake Forest, Florida and Maryland — which is also on their upcoming schedule. Charlotte is 6-3 through the first nine games this season. “He’s a guy that will definitely come in and help us,” Price said. “He adds a piece to the puzzle we don’t really have right now. I’m looking forward to getting him out there these next few practices and seeing if we can’t get him ready to go.” Ajukwa is one of four transfers on Charlotte’s roster. He has been allowed to practice with the team while sitting out a year under NCAA rules.
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