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Senior guard Jelani Williams dribbles during the second half of a game against Yale at the Palestra on Jan. 22. Credit: Kylie Cooper

After spending four years with Penn men’s basketball, senior guard Jelani Williams announced his commitment to Howard University on Tuesday, where he plans to utilize his remaining two years of eligibility.

In Instagram and Twitter posts announcing his transfer, the Washington D.C. native was appreciative of his time with the Red and Blue.

“Thank you to all the people that have helped me through the process of finding my next step,” Williams wrote. “I am forever grateful to the University of Pennsylvania for developing me into a young man and supporting me through every obstacle that I faced in my years there.”

Williams earned his extra years of eligibility after three long-term ACL tears, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, this season acted as his collegiate debut, despite it being his senior year. Williams served as Penn’s co-captain throughout the season, averaging 6.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game over 25 contests, starting in each game in which he played.

Williams missed the last four games of the Quakers’ regular season after suffering a broken finger during Penn’s home matchup against Harvard on Feb. 12. In his return for the Ivy Tournament, which was his final game wearing Red and Blue, Williams played 24 minutes and scored two points, while also snatching a team-high three steals.

In his announcement, Williams credited growing up in the nation’s capital as one of his strongest reasons for committing to the Bison.

“Since I was a young kid, I always thought about what it would be like to play college basketball in the DMV and represent the area I grew up in,” Williams wrote. “I’ve also long resented how difficult it was for HBCUs to have successful basketball programs. I want to take advantage of the opportunity that I have to be a part of the change and help shift the culture ... I’m home. Let’s work.”