UW's Kobe King is leaving the Badgers

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Kobe King is leaving the Badgers.

Wisconsin guard Kobe King (23) shoots over the defense of Michigan State forward Gabe Brown during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The redshirt sophomore announced on his Instagram account this afternoon that “the best step for my future basketball aspirations, as well as my love for the game, is to immediately step away from the University of Wisconsin Men’s basketball program.”

"Thank you everyone for all of the support over the years. I will continue to work and improve as a player while I prepare for what’s next. Sometimes the hardest choices are the right ones!" King said in an Instagram post announcing the decision.

The basketball team released a statement moments later that King was indeed leaving.

“Being a student-athlete in the Wisconsin men’s basketball program is a special privilege and opportunity and I’m disappointed that Kobe has chosen to leave, particularly at this point in time,” head coach Greg Gard said. “But I respect his right to do what he feels is in his best interest. I wish Kobe all the best.”

The Badgers host Michigan State on Saturday at the Kohl Center.