The career of UConn sophomore center Jessica McCormack is over before it even began. Both McCormack and Huskies coach Geno Auriemma confirmed today that she will not return to UConn.
McCormack, a 6-foot-5 center from Auckland, New Zealand, said the decision had nothing to do with anyone associated with the program. The game of basketball simply is no longer appealing to McCormack at this point in her life.
“I won’t be returning to UConn this fall,’’ McCormack said in an e-mail. “I have decided to stay in New Zealand and continue my education here. UConn was amazing and the team and coaches were fantastic. My decision has nothing to do with them. I came to this decision after really reflecting what is making me happy at the moment and basketball, in general, is not doing it for me.’’
McCormack originally transferred to UConn from Washington last spring. She was forced to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules and returned home in early February to undergo surgery on her problematic right Achilles tendon that limited her to only a couple of practices with the Huskies.
The surgery was performed March 4. Afterward she said she hoped to return to UConn for the second session of summer school.
McCormack called Auriemma last week to inform him of her intentions.
“I will continue to go to the (Auckland University of Technology) and finish my communications degree,’’ McCormack said. “And I will probably start playing netball here.’’
Just last summer McCormack was the youngest member of the New Zealand Olympic women’s basketball team in Beijing.
UConn-bound guard Kelly Faris and St. John’s freshman and former Trinity Catholic star Da’Shena Stevens have been invited to compete in the USA Basketball U-19 National Team Trials, which will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. May 14-17.
Faris, a McDonald’s All-American from Plainfield, Ind., and Stevens, who was named the Big East Freshman of the Year this season, are two of approximately 30 players that will be invited to attend the trials. Should they advance they will return to Colorado Springs for training camp July 9-17.
The eventual 12-member U-19 World Championship Team will compete at the FIBA World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand July 23-Aug. 2. Faris helped lead the U.S to the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship last July in Buenos Aires, Argentina.