After being suspended last week for “conduct unbecoming of a member of the team,” Minnesota leading scorer Destiny Pitts is planning to transfer away from the university, she announced on social media on Thursday afternoon.
Pitts has averaged 16.3 points per game this season while leading the Gophers to an 11-5 start, and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year in her sophomore campaign.
Minnesota coach and former Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen suspended Pitts on Friday ahead of their 74-71 loss to Illinois, which marked the Gophers’ fourth straight loss.
Whalen has not opened up much about the details surrounding the suspension, saying only on Wednesday that when expectations and standards “are not met, there are consequences.” She did not expand on that on Thursday, either.
“We learned this afternoon that Destiny Pitts intends to enter the transfer portal,” Whalen said in a statement, via the Star Tribune. “As I said yesterday, I will always respect the privacy of a student-athlete and will continue to do so. We wish Destiny the best moving forward.”
Suspended for her ‘body language’
While Whalen hasn’t addressed the reasoning behind the suspension much, Pitts did in her statement on Thursday.
Pitts said on Twitter that she was suspended for her “body language” in their 56-54 loss to Northwestern on Thursday.
“Last Friday, was informed that I was suspended indefinitely for my ‘body language’ during the Northwestern game,” Pitts wrote on Twitter. “As this was my first discipline situation of my career at Minnesota (or as a basketball player at any level), I was blindsided and shocked by the suspension.”
The situation grew even weirder following that suspension when two of Pitts’ teammates — Big Ten leading rebounder Taiye Bello and her sister Kehinde Bello — stayed behind while the rest of the team made the trip to Champaign, Illinois, for the game on Saturday.
Whalen said at the time that the Bello sisters’ absence from that game had nothing to do with Pitts’ suspension. Pitts, though, said Thursday that the two did so to support her.
“I need to reiterate how thankful I am for my teammates,” Pitts wrote on Twitter. “They have consistently checked in on me and helped me through this difficult experience, and I could never express how much that means to me.
“The Bello sisters (Taiye and Kehinde) truly went above and beyond — as teammates and friends — by sitting out last weekend’s trip to Illinois in a protest of a suspension they know is wrong. Thank y’all again from the bottom of my heart.”
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