The UConn women’s basketball team is losing a member of its talented freshman class as Andra Espinoza-Hunter has left the program, the team announced on Friday. No reason was given for her departure.
“I have enjoyed getting to know Andy and her family,” Head coach Geno Auriemma said. “Everyone at UConn wishes Andy all the best as she continues her college career elsewhere.”
Before the Memphis game, the team announced that Espinoza-Hunter was not with the team and returned home to deal with a personal matter, but did not give any specifics.
“She's got some issues that she's got to handle and until she can handle those things, it's going to be hard for her to play,” head coach Geno Auriemma said after the game.
Espinoza-Hunter came to UConn from Ossining, New York — the same hometown as Saniya Chong. She was a member of the Huskies’ top-ranked 2017 recruiting class and was rated as the 16th-best prospect in the nation by ESPN. Espinoza-Hunter was also named the New York Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017.
This season, Espinoza-Hunter saw action in just seven games, but showed promise as a 3-point shooter. However, she struggled on defense which prevented her from getting more minutes.
Espinoza-Hunter is the first player to leave the Huskies mid-season since De’Janae Boykin did so during the 2015-16 season.
Espinoza-Hunter spoke with Lohud.com, where she discussed her reason for leaving.
“I just realized UConn wasn’t really a good fit for me,” she said.
A now-deleted video surfaced on Twitter where Auriemma states he “didn’t want” Espinoza-Hunter at UConn anymore. The full quote has been transcribed below:
WBB: Talking yesterday about his freshman class, UConn coach Geno Auriemma with some blunt comments on why Andra Espinoza-Hunter is transferring (starts ~11:00 mark of video) https://t.co/6CDj7iU6oy pic.twitter.com/DbsH4X0Zo7— Raoul (@Raoul_000) January 21, 2018
Espinoza-Hunter has announced her commitment to Mississippi State.