Former West Forsyth girls basketball standout Jenna Staiti is transferring from the University of Maryland after one season, the school announced Tuesday morning.
The 6-foot-6 freshman center leaves after finishing with 75 points, 51 rebounds and 14 blocks in 25 games in her lone season for the Terrapins, who went 32-3, won a third straight Big Ten regular season and conference tournament championship and reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.
Staiti will have to sit out next season before playing again, per NCAA transfer rules, and it’s not clear where that might be, though Staiti said in a statement released by the school that she hopes to play closer to home.
“I would like to thank Coach (Brenda Frese) for the opportunity to get to play for a great coach like she is,” Staiti said in the statement. “It has been an honor to wear the Maryland uniform. I would like to thank all of the coaching and support staff for everything they have done for me this year. I would also like to thank my teammates for being the amazing support system and family away from home to me. They are my sisters. I have made a decision, due to personal family issues, that being closer to home is in the best interests of our family.”
The news came in coordination with the announcement of two other transfers by Terrapins players, including starting point guard Destiny Slocum, who was named Big Ten freshman of the year and was Staiti’s roommate.
Staiti and Slocum were the top two rated players in Maryland’s 2016 recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN’s HoopGurlz, along with former South Forsyth guard Sarah Myers.
Staiti first committed to Maryland the summer going in to her sophomore season at West Forsyth, where she took the Wolverines to new heights and gained increasing notoriety, particularly with dominant performances during the team’s run to the Class 6A state semifinals her senior season. Afterward, Staiti was named Miss Georgia Basketball and the Gatorade State Player of the year.