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Zach Norvell Jr. returning to Gonzaga as student assistant, plans to complete degree

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) reacts heading into a timeout against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half of an NCAA Elite Eight basketball game on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.   (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

LAS VEGAS – Gonzaga fans were hoping to get one more season from Zach Norvell Jr. following a productive sophomore year in 2018-19 that culminated with a trip to the Elite Eight.

It’s not happening the way they imagined, but the former Gonzaga guard is back on campus this fall as a student assistant, Bulldogs coach Mark Few told The Spokesman-Review Thursday at West Coast Conference Media Day.

Norvell Jr., who declared for the NBA Draft after his sophomore season, is also planning to complete his undergraduate degree, Few said.

The Chicago native went undrafted in 2019 before signing a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Norvell Jr. played in two games for the Lakers and made 29 appearances for their G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers. He averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while making 17 starts for South Bay.

Norvell Jr. inked a 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors in February of 2020 and scored his first NBA points against the Lakers, registering seven points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. In seven games with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors, Norvell Jr. averaged 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists while playing 30.7 minutes per game.

The Simeon High product returned home to Chicago after signing a one-year contract with the Chicago Bulls, but was waived at the conclusion of training camp. He was named to the Santa Cruz Warriors roster that competed in the Orlando bubble, but his contract was terminated due to a season-ending injury.

In two seasons at Gonzaga, Norvell Jr. averaged 13.8 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He was a career 44% field goal shooter and made 37% of his 3-point attempts.