Lady Vols’ basketball star Tamari Key is returning to Tennessee for her super senior season, Key announced on Twitter Monday night.
Blood clots in her lungs sidelined Key for most of this season and her inability to play is a major reason she is returning to Knoxville for one final season.
“When my senior year was curt short, my goal was always to get back on the floor with my teammates,” Key said in a statement. “That goal hasn’t changed. My journey is not yet finished. I’ll be back on Rocky Top next season.”
The Cary, North Carolina native played nine games this season before receiving the poor health news, averaging 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
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Key was far more effective in her full junior season than her injury shortened senior season. One of the top players on the Lady Vols’ Sweet 16 team, Key averaged 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.
The 6-foot-6 center is the top rim protector in Tennessee women’s basketball history. Key passed Candace Parker to become the program leader last season and enters her super senior campaign with 295 career blocks.
After a poor performance in their pre conference slate, the Lady Vols have found their footing. Tennessee went 13-3 in SEC play before upsetting LSU on its way to making the SEC Tournament Championship game.
The Lady Vols fell to top-ranked South Carolina in the championship game to end enter the NCAA Tournament with a 23-11 record.
Tennessee’s NCAA Tournament seed is unclear after its deep run in the SEC Tournament. The Lady Vols are hovering between being a four-seed or five-seed. That’s an important line as top-four seeds host opening weekend games at home.
The NCAA releases its women’s basketball bracket after the men’s bracket on Sunday, March 12.