Bradley transfer Josh Cunningham picks Dayton over Illinois

Josh Cunningham, a 6-foot-7 small forward who played his freshman season at Bradley, will transfer to Dayton, a source confirmed Thursday night.

“I like the family atmosphere and the size of the school and success they have had on the court,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham visited Illinois and Dayton in May. His decision came down to those two schools.

“(The choice) was real hard,” Cunningham said. “I think was harder than my first decision.”

Cunningham will have to sit out the 2015-16 season and has three seasons of eligibility remaining. He said he doesn’t know yet if he will enroll at UD for the second summer session or in the fall.

Cunningham played at Morgan Park High School in Chicago. He was a teammate there with Dayton junior Kyle Davis.

Cunningham will be the 10th player from Chicago to ever play for the Flyers, according to the Dayton men’s basketball media guide. When he gets on the court in 2016-17, the Flyers will have three Chicago players on the roster. Kendall Pollard and Davis will be the others.

Cunningham said Pollard and Davis made him feel at home when he visited, but playing with them wasn’t as big a selling point as some people thought because he’ll only get to play with them for one season. He will have two more seasons after Pollard and Davis play their final season.

As a freshman at Bradley, Cunningham averaged 7.9 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds. He tied for the team lead with 1.1 steals per game.

Cunningham shot 43 percent from the field, 23 percent from 3-point range (15-of-64) and 57 percent at the free-throw line (53-of-93).

Cunningham left the program in April after Bradley fired head coach Geno Ford and hired Green Bay’s Brian Wardle. He was one of six players granted their release.

Cunningham released a statement at that time, saying, “I want to thank the city of Peoria, the fans and the (Bradley) students for accepting me as a player and a person. I haven’t gotten to know Coach Wardle well, but I know he is going to be a great coach for the program and will take Bradley basketball to the next level.”

Cunningham was a four-star recruit in high school. He was the 110th-ranked prospect in the country. He chose Bradley over Indiana, South Carolina, St. John’s, DePaul and others.

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