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Sophomore Bryson Williams looks for an open pass on Dec. 3, 2017 at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Utah State won in overtime, 81-79. (Fresno State Athletics)

Bryson Williams granted release from Fresno State

After speculation over his future, Bulldogs sophomore Bryson Williams’ request for a transfer to a new school was approved Wednesday by Fresno State, according to a news release from Stephen Trembley, director of New Media.

Wednesday’s development ends a weeklong mystery into Williams’ future. His release allows him to play for any school of his choosing, except in the Mountain West Conference. However, due to NCAA rules, Williams must sit out next season, but will have two seasons of eligibility left.

Williams’ decision to leave is a heavy blow not only to the Fresno State basketball team, but also the Valley, a team spokesman said.

Just a few years ago, Williams was one of the best high school players in California. Williams owns the record for most points in Roosevelt High School history with 2,302 points. That figure ranks him fifth in Central Section history and is the highest the city of Fresno has ever seen.

His dominating play during his senior campaign earned him Fresno Bee Offensive Player of the Year for the 2015-16 season. A season in which he averaged 33.8 points and 18 rebounds per game, which lead to a Central Section Division III title.

Williams joined former head coach Rodney Terry in 2016 and played in 33 games. Even with the likes of former standouts Paul Watson and Karachi Edo on the team, Williams made the most of his chances.

By season’s end, Williams shot a team-best 60.3 percent from the field.

With more of an emphasis on his development in his sophomore season, Williams continued to blossom. His ability to block shots and get his own shots gave Fresno State a key weapon for what might have been another run at the title.

Williams proved vital to the Bulldogs’ 2017-18 season. He nearly doubled his average to 13.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.