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WVU's Macon eligible to enroll, but playing status still uncertain

Aug. 24, 2013 @ 11:25 PM

MORGANTOWN -- At 10 a.m. Friday, Elijah Macon finally got the call he had been waiting so long for.

The West Virginia University men's basketball signee from Columbus who spent the last two years at Brewster Academy (Mass.) and Huntington Prep finally got a phone call from the WVU coaching staff that he was eligible to enroll in school for the fall semester. But, it's still unclear whether he'll be cleared to play this season.

Macon was supposed to be on campus last season, but had to delay that enrollment to attend prep school for one more year.

Waiting to find out if he was eligible was the toughest part for Macon, who learned he was cleared to enroll on the final day students were allowed to sign up for fall semester classes.

"It was very nerve-wracking," Macon said. "Through everything that was happening, I didn't know anything. I was just waiting and waiting. I had to take two tests at the last minute and they really helped.

"I knew I was in a good position, I just had to be patient and keep the faith."

Although he no longer has to wait to find out if he can enroll, Macon still does not know if he will be able to play for the Mountaineers in 2013-14. He could still be ruled as a partial qualifier, which would mean he could be in school and practice with the team but redshirt this season.

While that's not the absolute ideal situation for him, Macon said he would make the best of the situation and use the year to continue getting ready for the adjustment to the college game while working with head coach Bob Huggins, the coaching staff and strength and conditioning coach Andy Kettler.

"Either way, whatever happens, I'm just happy to finally be at West Virginia," Macon said. "It could help me even more. If I get to play, then I'm going to do what I can to make sure I'm ready to play when they need me. If not, it just gives me extra time to get ready and be way more prepared when I do get my chance to go out there and play."

Macon said he is unsure of when he will know if he is cleared to play this season or not.

Knowing he could have been in Morgantown last season made it even tougher for him when he had to watch the Mountaineers struggle through a 13-19 season while he spent his final season at Brewster.

"It was hard for me to just be stuck there sitting and watching," he said. "We weren't playing to our full potential. Every program goes through rebuilding years every now and then."

He's excited to get to Morgantown to play with his new teammates and prove that last season was just a small bump in the road for a WVU basketball program that has made NCAA tournament appearances in seven of the last nine seasons.

"Nobody wants to have another season like they had last year. Everybody's on the same page right now and everyone has that goal to get back up to where we can be," Macon said. "After waiting so long to get here, I'm ready to step up and help WVU rebound. I want to get up there and start working with these guys."