Chichester joins basketball team

With only seven available scholarship players on his roster, Rick Pitino turned to the Louisville football program Wednesday for help. Josh Chichester, a 6'8 wide receiver, has joined the basketball team to provide depth - and an extra man to help out during practices.

Josh Chichester, a 6-8, 225-pound wide receiver on the University of Louisville football team, has joined the Cardinals men's basketball team and is available to participate immediately. He began practicing with the team on Wednesday, adding to a severely depleted U of L front line.

"We're real happy to have Josh on our team," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino. "It's been a difficult few weeks in practice. Josh has very good athleticism and will help us in practice. It will take him a few weeks to learn the system and then will possibly be able to help us in games. (Assistant coach) Walter McCarty has been able to become a coach again and Josh's arrival will relieve him of most of his playing duties in practice."

Josh Chichester will pull double-duty with
the basketball team.

Chichester redshirted his freshman year with the Cardinal football team this fall after enrolling at U of L in the spring of 2006. He is expected to compete for a starting wide receiver position next season with the Cardinals.

Chichester was a two-sport star for Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. As a senior in basketball in 2005-06, he averaged 13.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots in helping his team to 19-4 record and district runner-up finish. The three-year starter was a first-team all-conference and all-city selection and finished as the school's career rebounding leader. He averaged 11 points and 7.9 rebounds as a junior.

On the football field, Chichester caught 36 passes for 723 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior for the 7-3 Firebirds. The three-year starter at wide receiver for Lakota West was ranked No. 14 in the nation among wide receivers by and No. 36 by in his recruiting class, and was ranked 17th among all football recruits in the state of Ohio.

With the indefinite suspension of 6-9 sophomore forward Derrick Caracter on Monday, the Cardinals have five front line players on the sideline. Senior foward Juan Palacios tore cartilage in his right knee on the second day of practice and will hopefully return to action in the next two weeks. Senior center David Padgett suffered a broken kneecap on Nov. 18 and is out at least 10 weeks. Freshman forward George Goode did not meet freshmen eligibility requirements. Freshman center Clarence Holloway had season-ending open heart surgery on Sept. 22 and is awaiting word on his eligibility.

Only seven scholarship players are currently available for action on Louisville's depleted roster.

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