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BYU big man Richard Harward says he’ll miss the rest of the season

Portland Pilots forward Hunter Seymour (23) tries to block Brigham Young Cougars center Richard Harward (42).
Portland Pilots forward Hunter Seymour (23) tries to block Brigham Young Cougars center Richard Harward (42) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Harward on Tuesday announced via Instagram that he will miss the rest of the season because of a “cardiovascular issue.”
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Early in the BYU Cougars’ exhibition game against Colorado Christian on Nov. 4, big man Richard Harward left the contest, and it was later determined that he would be out “at least a little while” because of what head coach Mark Pope called a “cardiovascular issue.”

Harward hasn’t played since, and on Tuesday, he announced via Instagram that he will miss the rest of the season because of the problem.

“After consulting with my doctors and coaches I have decided to take a step back from basketball,” he wrote.

“The condition affecting my heart has developed further complications. For my health and safety, it has been determined I will be out the remainder of the season. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of kindness and support.”

Harward, a senior, was expected to be BYU’s starting center this season and form a strong frontcourt rotation with the likes of Caleb Lohner, Gavin Baxter and freshman Fousseyni Traore, but both he and Baxter (ACL tear) are out for the season, leaving the Cougars pretty thin upfront.

Last season, his first with BYU after transferring from Utah Valley University, Harward played in all 27 of the Cougars’ games and averaged 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and an assist in 15.5 minutes per contest.

Given that he’s a senior, it is unclear what his future playing status may be.