LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – The NCAA denied an eligibility waiver for New Mexico State forward Kim Aiken Jr., KTSM learned on Thursday.
An NMSU official said that the governing body of collegiate athletics declined the Aggies’ appeal to get Aiken Jr. eligible, after they also denied the initial waiver request for him earlier in the season.
With just six games left in the 2022-23 regular season, Aiken Jr.’s shot at playing for NMSU this year is now done. However, NMSU may look into getting him a waiver to play during the 2023-24 season, though that is still up in the air.
A transfer from Arizona, Aiken Jr. played in just seven games for the Wildcats in 2021-22, averaging 5.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1 steal per game. He was absent from the team for a Dec. 8 game vs. Wyoming, after which Wildcats head coach Tommy Lloyd said he was gone for personal reasons. Aiken Jr. never returned to Arizona after that.
Before coming to Tucson, Aiken Jr. was an integral part of Eastern Washington’s team for three seasons. It culminated in Aiken Jr. averaging 11.3 points per game and being named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year in 2020-21, as the Eagles made the NCAA Tournament.
Sources told KTSM throughout the process that Aiken Jr.’s eligibility waiver has more to do with his last school, Arizona, but still had to be cleared through the NCAA.
In a forgettable first season under new head coach Greg Heiar, the Aggies are just 9-15, 2-10 in WAC play and have a myriad of off-the-court issues. All alone in last place in the WAC, NMSU will play at Cal Baptist on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Riverside, Calif.