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Wyoming’s Leonard Washington goes for the layup as North Dakota State’s Marshall Bjorkund defends during the CBI on March 14 in Laramie. Washington, UW’s top player, was reinstated to the team after a troublesome off season.

Dan Cepeda | Star-Tribune

Wyoming men's basketball senior forward Leonard Washington will play for the Cowboys this season, the schools' athletic department said in a release Tuesday.

“Leonard has met our criteria for earning his way back onto this team and has done everything athletics director Tom Burman and I have asked of him,” Wyoming men's basketball coach Larry Shyatt said in a UW release. “We are pleased that he will have the opportunity to earn his degree this spring and look forward to him continuing to help this team.”

Washington's full reinstatement ends a period of uncertainty surrounding his availability that dates back to April 4, when Shyatt suspended him indefinitely for what he described as conduct not representative of the team.

Following that suspension, Washington was arrested for his involvement in an altercation at a house in Laramie. Washington was arrested on charges of battery and criminal entry, fined and placed on probation.

Shakir Smith, a sophomore on the Wyoming basketball team, was also arrested for his involvement in the same incident. Shyatt told the Star-Tribune in August that Smith, a reserve player last season, was close to completing the required community service that he was assigned.

But Washington's return means more for the Cowboys. The senior started 32 games last season and averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds. He was a second-team All-Mountain West selection and led the conference in blocks (an average of one per game).

Since his suspension and arrest, Washington spent a summer in Laramie working out and taking classes at UW. His reinstatement means he has completed the necessary legal steps and has also received NCAA clearance on his academic eligibility.

The Wyoming men's basketball team started workouts this week.


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