The men’s basketball team, fresh off of another strong season, will be without another familiar face next year. Charles Minlend, a redshirt junior but an academic senior, entered the NCAA’s graduate transfer portal and will be playing his final year of athletic eligibility away from the Hilltop. Minlend joins graduating seniors Jimbo Lull, Remu Raitanen, and Jordan Ratinho as a non-returning player, although under different circumstances.
“When I came here I was looking for the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve my academic and athletic aspirations. At USF, I found that and so much more. I found a family and a home,” Minlend wrote in an Instagram post on April 5. “The relationships I’ve cultivated and the memories that I’ve made, will stay with me for the rest of my life. I appreciate everything the university has done for me, and the love and support I have received from all of the student body, administration, teammates, and especially the fans.”
Minlend finished his final season at USF as the team’s highest scorer with 491 points (14.5 ppg) and a career total of 1,271 points, tied with teammate Jimbo Lull for No. 18 on the school’s all-time list. His freshman year, Minlend averaged 10 ppg. He saw starting minutes in the final 17 games of the season, earning West Coast Conference (WCC) All-Freshman Team honors in the process. Minlend redshirted his sophomore season following wrist surgery, but he returned for a strong campaign in his redshirt sophomore year, earning All-WCC Second Team honors, an accolade he earned again this past season. Minlend also earned WCC All-Academic First Team honors for both the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
In a comment to the Foghorn, USF’s athletics department said, “Losing a player of Charles’ caliber is never easy. Not only was he a phenomenal player and an instrumental part of building a strong foundation for our men’s basketball program — but he was a fantastic ambassador for our athletic department and USF as a whole. In the last few years, the transfer portal has added a new level of visibility in helping athletes across the country find their next opportunity. Charles is no different, he will leave USF as an alumnus and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Since entering the graduate transfer portal, Minlend has been connected to Indiana University, Ohio State, UCLA, St. John’s, and other universities, but no official moves have been confirmed. In an April 4 interview with Stockrisers.com, a basketball blog, Minlend said he “expects to narrow down his choices within a week.”
“I will not be wearing a USF jersey next season,” Minlend wrote in his post, “but USF will always be a part of me and I truly mean that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”