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Yale basketball player Brandon Sherrod leaves team to join school a capella group

05.14.14 at 11:44 am ET

The Yale basketball team finished this past season 19-14 overall and 9-5 in the Ivy League — good for second place behind Harvard — and the Bulldogs are expected to challenge for the top spot in the conference again next year.

However, the team will do so without one of its key players, forward Brandon Sherrod.

The 6-foot-6 junior from Bridgeport, Conn., decided he would accept an invitation to join Yale’s prestigious Whiffenpoofs all-male a capella singing group and take next year off.

“This is supposed to be THE year, and you want to play with your guys,” Sherrod told The Associated Press. “But the Whiffenpoofs is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Whiffenpoofs, formed in 1909, gives rising seniors at Yale the opportunity to take off a year from studies and travel the world — every continent but Antartica is on the schedule for 2014-15.

Coach James Jones accepted Sherrod’s decision and said he would welcome the player back the following year. Sherrod started 14 games last season, averaging 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. He played 22 minutes in the Bulldogs’ 74-67 victory at Harvard on Feb. 8 — the Crimson’s only league loss of the season.

“That’s one of the things we talk about when we recruit kids is what is available at Yale and the different opportunities they’re going to have,” Jones said. “Brandon ‘s going to take advantage of one of them, and I understand.”

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