Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith enters portal as grad transfer

April 8, 2023, 10:49 AM

Star guard Hailey Van Lith is in the transfer portal out of Louisville as a graduate transfer, the school announced Saturday, marking one of the most seismic developments in women's college basketball this offseason.

"We thank Hailey for her contributions to this program, this school and this community," head coach Jeff Walz said in a statement. "She has done everything we have asked of her over the past three years, and we wish her the very best in her final collegiate season and beyond."

Van Lith said she poured her "passion and heart into Louisville," in an Instagram post on Saturday, expressing her "joy and gratitude" for her time at the school.

One of the top players in the ACC and in the country, Van Lith has two years of eligibility remaining: her senior season and the COVID "freebie" year granted to basketball athletes amid the COVID season of 2020-21. The school said she will receive her degree in finance in May.

The 5-foot-7 guard from Washington state is coming off a career year in which she averaged 19.7 points and 3.2 assists per game, as well as 4.5 rebounds, making her one of two Power 5 players, along with Caitlin Clark, who averaged at least 19 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. The two-time first-team All-ACC player propelled the Cardinals to the 2022 Final Four, where she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Wichita Regional. Louisville ultimately lost to eventual champion South Carolina in the national semifinal.

Van Lith shouldered a lot of the scoring burden this season at Louisville, but the Cardinals came together at the right time to advance to the program's fifth consecutive Elite Eight this season, where they fell to Clark's Iowa Hawkeyes in Seattle.

Across her three seasons at Louisville -- two of which she was the team's leading scorer -- Van Lith compiled an average of 15.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game on 42.2% shooting from the field (33.7% from 3). She finished 12th on the program's all-time scoring list.

As the No. 7 recruit out of high school per HoopGurlz, she was a McDonald's All American and a finalist for the Naismith Trophy high school player of the year. She also has extensive experience with USA Basketball.