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By GAVIN KEEFE
Day Sports Writer
Storrs -- Freshman Andre Drummond is attending UConn as a non-scholarship basketball player this year.
Speaking about the subject for the first time Tuesday, Drummond said he declined redshirt freshman Michael Bradley’s offer to give up his scholarship.
“I’m thankful for what Mike was trying to do for me,” Drummond said.
“I told Mike, `Don’t do that, man. I’ll pay my way and take a scholarship next year. You don’t have to give up a scholarship for me.’ ”
UConn already had reached its scholarship limit when Drummond, a gifted 6-foot-10 center from Middletown, shocked college basketball by making a late commitment in August, just days before the start of the fall semester.
Bradley volunteered to give up his scholarship and apply financial aid. A forward from Chattanooga, Tenn., he spent part of his childhood living in the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.
“I don’t want anybody to pity me,” Bradley told the Associated Press during the Husky Run on Oct. 12. “But, I’ll say I made a lot of sacrifices growing up that were kind of forced on me. It was hard, but it wasn’t too bad.”
Later in the fall, Bradley went back on scholarship and Drummond became a walk-on, receiving some financial aid.
Drummond said his family asked for the change.
“It was my decision,” Drummond said. “That’s not fair to him. He worked hard to get that scholarship. I’m not going to take something from somebody that’s not mine. It was my decision to come late.”
Drummond is a rising star, earning Big East Rookie-of-the-Week honors Monday after finishing with a career-high 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in Sunday’s win over Holy Cross. He’s averaging 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 10 games.
Bradley recently began practicing with the team after being sidelined during the preseason with a broken ankle.