Evina Westbrook Announces Transfer to UConn

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    (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

    Former Lady Vols guard Evina Westbrook has announced her transfer destination, and it’s to one of UT’s biggest rivals in women’s basketball.

    Westbrook took to social media late Friday night to announce she is transferring to UConn to play for the Lady Huskies. Under NCAA transfer rules, she will likely have to sit out a season and redshirt, though exceptions can be made if she applies for immediate eligibility.

    The sophomore guard joins UConn as they’re about to renew their rivalry with the Lady Vols in women’s basketball. Tennessee and UConn will meet next season in Connecticut and again in Knoxville in the 2020-21 season following over a decade where the two heated rivals haven’t played. The two teams played nearly annually from 1995 through 2007, but they haven’t played since that 2007 match-up.

    After Tennessee fired head coach Holly Warlick, Westbrook entered her name into the NCAA transfer portal. Once Tennessee hired Kellie Harper to replace Warlick, the two met and discussed Westbrook’s future. The sophomore guard decided at that time to keep her name in the transfer portal.

    Now, she’s found a new home up north.

    Westbrook joined the Lady Vols as one of the highest-rated players in her respective recruiting class. Westbrook was considered the No. 1 guard and was ranked as high as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2017 recruiting cycle, and she was a McDonald’s All-American. She was named the National Player of the Year by several outlets, and she helped win gold for the USA at the FIBA Americas U18 Tournament.

    The 6-foot guard played in 31 games for the Lady Vols this season and started every game she played. She averaged 14.9 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 41.9 percent overall and 38.0 percent from three.

    Westbrook played in 64 games for the Lady Vols in her two years with the program, and she started all 64 of them.

    After the Lady Vols’ first round exit in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Tournament, Westbrook drew headlines for her post-game comments. She was asked if she thought Holly Warlick would return as head coach after the game, to which she replied “I don’t know” and also stated that “steps need to be taken with our staff” during the offseason.

    The upcoming match-up between UConn and the Lady Vols was already going to be hyped up enough, but now this adds an extra layer to it. Even if Westbrook isn’t eligible for this upcoming season’s contest, she’ll likely be out on the court when the two teams face-off in Knoxville the following season.

    The Lady Vols and UConn have faced off 22 times in women’s basketball. The Huskies hold a 13-9 advantage over the Lady Vols, but Tennessee currently holds a three-game winning streak over UConn. The Lady Vols won the last meeting 70-64 on January 6th, 2007. Both teams were ranked inside the top five for that game.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.