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Eli Abaev guards an inbound pass against Tennessee State.

Former Austin Peay basketball player Eli Abaev announced on Twitter Monday that he will be transferring to Florida Gulf Coast of the ASUN Conference. He will be eligible to participate immediately.

Abaev’s decision was incredibly simple and came down to one major detail.

“After the season, I just told (APSU coach Matt Figger) I wanted to go closer to home, be closer to family,” he said. “I had a lot of offers, but Florida Gulf Coast, when I was talking to coach (Michael) Fly, he made it seem like home. It’s about an hour from where I live. It met all the requirements.

“(I’m looking forward to) having my family come to my games.”

The 6-foot-8 inch forward had a strong season with the Governors, averaging 7.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while being one of only three Govs to start every contest. He especially turned it on late, achieving six double-doubles across the final month-plus of the season and grabbing double-digit rebounds in the 10 of the team’s last 14 games.

His season was topped with back-to-back, 19-point games against Eastern Kentucky and SIUE with 12 and 10 rebounds in each contest, respectively.

“(From Austin Peay) I’ll probably remember most… my teammates. Some of the best teammates I’ve had in a long time,” Abaev said. “My experience was great. I don’t regret anything (about) coming to Austin Peay. I appreciate everything everyone’s done for me. Coaching staff, players, trainers.”

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