WASHINGTON — American University men's basketball head coach Mike Brennan has announced that Yilret "YY" Yiljep has been medically cleared to resume all athletic activities and will compete for the Eagles in the 2018-19 season. The NCAA and Patriot League have approved a waiver request granting him additional seasons of eligibility as a graduate student at AU.
"I am very excited to give back and play for AU who supported me throughout my career," said Yiljep.
Yiljep has been part of the AU men's basketball program since the 2013-14 season when he took the court in 13 games as a freshman. His season and subsequent undergraduate career was cut short due to a heart condition.
"I have seen firsthand what it takes to win a Patriot League championship, and I approach every day like the guys from the past did," said Yiljep. "I can relate to these guys."
Although injuries kept him off the court, Yiljep stayed around the program, assisting Brennan as a student coach and mentor to his current teammates.
"YY continued to be an integral part of our program from the sidelines with his enthusiasm and maturity and should bolster our frontcourt," said Brennan. "Regardless of what he does on the court, YY's leadership will make him an invaluable part of our team this upcoming season."
"It's exciting to play with guys like Sa'eed (Nelson) and Mark (Gasperini) after having the ability to work with them on the sidelines," said Yiljep. "Now my role is to lead by example as a teammate."
"It's been great having YY back in the weight room after four years away," said Assistant AD of Strength & Conditioning Sean Foster. "He brings a level of maturity and professionalism to everything he does. His effort and focus has not only helped him return to basketball shape quickly but also rubbed off on his teammates and raised the intensity level of everyone during our training sessions. "
In 2017, Yiljep graduated with a degree in business administration. He is currently pursuing a master's in marketing.