From All-American to walk on

Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

Grant Gibbs fed Doug McDermott 117 assists during McDermott’s last two seasons, but now the All American is feeding Gibbs his own assist. McDermott has agreed to walk on at Creighton and pay the full $30,000-$40,000 tuition to make room for Gibbs, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA on Tuesday.

By Scott Gleenson and Nicole Auerbach

Creighton’s Doug McDermott always has been a team player.

The two-time first-team All-American averaged 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds a game last season, and his do-everything-for-the-team style of play always earned the respect of his teammates.

“He’s all about the team, he makes us all better,” guard Grant Gibbs told USA TODAY Sports last spring.

Now, McDermott is sacrificing something much more than he ever had before. He’s sacrificing a scholarship.

Creighton Sports Information Director Rob Anderson confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that McDermott will be a walk-on next season to make room for Gibbs, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA on Tuesday.

McDermott and his family will have to pay the full tuition at Creighton, which ranges between $30,000-40,000. Even though McDermott’s father is an employee at the school, NCAA rules permit any financial aid unless that person has been employed for more than five years.

Ironically, when McDermott led the nation with 307 field goals in 2011-12 and 284 field goals in 2012-13, Gibbs assisted 177 of those made baskets.

McDermott announced he’d return to the Bluejays for his senior season, holding off on testing the NBA waters. With McDermott and Gibbs in the fold, Creighton returns four starters from last season’s 28-8 team.

The Bluejays officially joined the Big East on Monday and a major question prior to the season will be if Creighton can adjust to playing top-tier teams on a regular basis after playing in one of the top mid-major leagues.

© 2013 USA TODAY. All rights reserved.

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