After Anneli Maley departed for TCU on Saturday while Sierra Campisano waits for a transfer after asking for her release, Oregon women’s basketball lost yet another player: freshman Aina Ayuso.
Her decision to leave the program was announced on Twitter on April 9, by Regeneracom Sports, which is led by Spanish sports agent Lluis Túnez.
Oregon head coach Kelly Graves told the Emerald that Ayuso left the program after a club in Spain made a spot open for her on their team, and that Ayuso wanted to major in physical therapy — something UO does not offer.
Ayuso, a Barcelona, Spain, native, played in 31 games, averaging 8.1 minutes and 2.2 points per game in her freshman season. She hit internet fame with her crossover during the Pac-12 Tournament in early March.
Ayuso saw limited minutes this season with Pac-12 Player of the Year Sabrina Ionescu and junior Maite Cazorla in front of her in the guard positions.
“She is a really good player. I see it every day in practice,” Graves said after Oregon’s win over Seattle in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. “She’s playing behind two potential pros in Sabrina and Maite, and that’s in turn making her better every single day.”
Ayuso’s departure means five Ducks from the 2018 Elite Eight team will not return to Eugene for next season: Lexi Bando (graduation), Justine Hall (graduation), Maley (transfer), Campisano (pending transfer).
Oregon has signed Nyara Sabally, the younger sister of freshman Satou Sabally, and Taylor Chavez, the Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. The Ducks will also get Erin Boley into the lineup after the former Notre Dame player sat out during the 2017-18 season.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow