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UCLA center Smith quits team

The SportsXchange

UCLA junior center Joshua Smith has quit the team, the school announced Wednesday.

Smith, a McDonald's high school All-American, has been plagued by weight and conditioning issues ever since he arrived at UCLA.

"I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons," Smith said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here."

Smith has been granted his release, but it's unclear whether he will transfer or remain at UCLA.

The Times reported the 6-foot-10 center, who weighs in excess of 300 pounds, did not practice Tuesday because of "weight issues."

He then met with coach Ben Howland on Wednesday to discuss his future at UCLA.

"Joshua is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program," Howland said in a statement. "I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors."

In six games this season (none as a starter), Smith has averaged 5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 13.5 minutes.

Smith's departure follows the loss of Tyler Lamb, who announced he was leaving the team Sunday.

UCLA has eight scholarship players left, including four freshmen.
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