Evina Westbrook is coming back. On Sunday, she announced on Instagram that she will return to UConn for her redshirt senior season instead of entering the WNBA Draft.
The Salem, Oregon native was projected to be a first round pick in a weak 2021 draft class.
This past season, Westbrook averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals while starting all 30 games for the Huskies. She scored in double-figures 15 times and finished with two double-doubles on the year. Most importantly, Westbrook is also the heart and soul of the team off the court and is affectionately called “Momma E” by her teammates.
With Westbrook is back in the fold, UConn is will return its entire roster (barring any transfers) while adding incoming freshmen Azzi Fudd, Caroline Ducharme and Amari DeBerry — the No. 1, 5 and 15 players in the class of 2021, according to ESPN.
Westbrook transferred to UConn ahead of the 2019-20 campaign after two seasons at Tennessee but had to sit out after the NCAA denied her waiver to play immediately — which sparked a heated back and forth between the two schools.
“One of the comments made by the committee was what happened to Evina was pretty much normal,” Geno Auriemma said after the denial. “Well if that’s normal, then everybody else that I talk to has been doing it the wrong way. Because if one of my players went through what Evina went through, there’d be an investigation. It wasn’t normal.”
Westbrook was asked before and after UConn’s Final Four matchup with Arizona but declined to comment.
“I’m not really worried about that at this point in time,” she said postgame.