Gophers star Destiny Pitts enters transfer portal

Minnesota will be without its leading scorer for the remainder of the season.

Forward Destiny Pitts fights for the ball at Williams Arena on Sunday, Nov. 10. The Gophers defeated Vermont 90-58.

Nur B. Adam

Forward Destiny Pitts fights for the ball at Williams Arena on Sunday, Nov. 10. The Gophers defeated Vermont 90-58.

Brendan O'Brien

Hours before the Minnesota women’s basketball team played Iowa at Williams Arena on Thursday Jan. 16, junior forward Destiny Pitts announced her intentions to leave the team and enter the transfer portal.

In a written statement posted to Twitter, Pitts wrote she was suspended indefinitely because of her body language during the Gophers loss to Northwestern last Thursday night. Pitts did not finish the game for Minnesota and did not travel with the team for its matchup against Illinois last Sunday. 

Pitts has never been suspended during her time at Minnesota and wrote she was shocked when she learned of the suspension last Friday. After evaluating her options, Pitts decided it was in her best interest to play elsewhere.

Despite her decision to transfer, Pitts thanked her teammates for their support. Pitts also explained why Taiye and Kehinde Bello did not travel to play in the Gophers’ loss to Illinois.

“The Bello sisters (Taiye and Kehinde) truly went above and beyond – as teammates and as friends – by sitting out last weekend’s trip to Illinois in protest of a suspension they know is wrong,” Pitts said.

While the Bello sisters sat out for the Gophers’ last game in protest, it is uncertain if they will play in tonight’s matchup against Iowa.

Pitts’ time with the Gophers was filled with success. She was the 2017-18 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was up for the National Player of the Year honors this season. She also reached the 1,000 career points mark on November 17 in a win against Arizona State.

Coming off four consecutive losses in the Big Ten, Minnesota will have a major void to fill for the remainder of the season with Pitts gone. Pitts led the Gophers this season with 16.3 points per game, 50 assists and shot 45.9 percent from three-point range.

Pitts is the second Gopher to enter the transfer portal during this season. Sophomore guard Mercedes Staples announced she would add her name to the transfer portal on December 13.