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Trentyn Flowers leaves Louisville basketball team

A tall hill to climb for Kenny Payne just got taller.

High School Basketball: Combine Academy National Team Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of classes for the fall semester at U of L hasn’t arrived yet, and already the Louisville men’s basketball team has been dealt its first major blow of the 2023-24 season.

Trentyn Flowers, the crown jewel of Kenny Payne’s top five recruiting class of 2023, has announced that he is leaving U of L to pursue a professional opportunity in Australia.

“This was not an easy decision, because playing for Louisville was also a dream of mine,” Flowers said in a statement on social media. “While my time in Louisville has been short, it has been an amazing experience and I can’t thank you all enough. The coaching staff has been very supportive and has helped me tremendously this summer, and playing alongside such tremendous players was really inspiring. The love and support the entire city has shown me is something I’ll never forget.”

Flowers later tweeted then deleted a post stating that “I’m a point guard from now on get this right.”

Originally a member of the 2024 class before reclassifying last spring, Flowers was rated as a five-star prospect and the No. 23 overall player in the class of 2023 according to the 247 Sports composite rankings.

“Earlier today, Trentyn and his family informed me of his decision to pursue a professional career overseas,” Payne said in a statement. “We’re certainly disappointed in his decision and the timing. We fully believe in the University of Louisville’s ability to help student-athletes reach their goals, including to play at the highest levels of professional basketball – and we’re confident that Trentyn could have achieved his dreams by making Louisville his home. However, we wish Trentyn and his family well in all of their future endeavors.”

I don’t think I’m telling anyone anything they don’t already know, but this is a major, major blow. Flowers seemed to be the biggest pro talent on the roster, and now he’s gone without ever making it to the start of the fall semester.