(WJBK) - A few weeks after he was deemed ineligible, a military veteran has learned he'll be able to start playing basketball immediately for Oakland University.
Isaiah Brock, a 6-foot-9 freshman forward from Baltimore, was denied at first mostly in part because of his high school grades.
The Baltimore native says he was a "C" student but he wasn't focusing too much on academics, just getting out of an unstable environment.
"When you have like gang members in your school and fights all the time it's not an environment you want to learn in," Brock told FOX 2. Brock told us he wrote several letters to the NCAA explaining his story and asking for an opportunity to play, and was very devastated when he was originally denied.
Brock was a non-qualifier out of high school and Oakland submitted a waiver to the NCAA seeking immediate eligibility (athletic aid, practice and competition). The NCAA initially granted two of the three requests, and upon Oakland submitting additional information last week, the NCAA declared Isaiah eligible on all accounts.
“We’re appreciative of the NCAA initially awarding Isaiah with the ability to receive athletics financial assistance in addition to eligibility for practice,” Director of Athletics Jeff Konya said in a statement. “And we are even more thankful that the reconsideration has resulted in this decision for Isaiah.”
“I just want to thank the NCAA for giving me the opportunity to play this year and I also want to thank all of my teammates, family and friends for all of their support through this process. I'm very grateful and I won't let this opportunity go to waste!”
Brock and the Golden Grizzlies will open the season with a four-game homestand against Bowling Green (11/11), Western Michigan (11/14), Goshen (11/18) and Chicago State (11/19). Oakland will take on Grand Valley State in an exhibition contest on Monday, Nov. 7th in a 7 p.m. tip on WDFN-AM (1130).