EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – In a surprising move, UTEP starting forward Ze’Rik Onyema entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Tuesday afternoon.

Onyema made the news official with an announcement on his Twitter page.

“Thank you UTEP, it was a great ride and I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given and I will always have UTEP in my heart,” Onyema wrote in a statement.

Onyema started 31 of UTEP’s 32 games in 2022-23, averaging 7.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for a Miners team that went 14-18 on the season.

Sources told KTSM immediately following the conclusion of the season that Onyema was likely to return to the Miners. However, he had a change of heart in the last month and elected to leave instead.

Head coach Joe Golding and his staff are currently in the process of recruiting for the upcoming 2023-24 season. The Miners secured a commitment from Tyler Junior College guard Corey Camper last week. He averaged almost 20 ppg in 2022-23.

Additionally, UTEP also got a commitment from Colorado State’s Baylor Hebb on Monday. The Miners also hosted Temple’s Zach Hicks over the weekend. Hicks averaged almost 10 points and 5 rebounds per game for the Owls in 2022-23.

The deadline for players to enter their names in the Transfer Portal is May 11, so there’s still a little under one month left for current Miners to enter the portal, if they choose to do so.