Kitija Laksa moving on from USF

The long-range specialist recently had left open the chance of playing a final college season
Six-foot Latvia native Kitija Laksa exits USF as the program's No. 6 all-time scorer. [Times files]
Six-foot Latvia native Kitija Laksa exits USF as the program's No. 6 all-time scorer. [Times files]
Published May 16

Six weeks after leaving the door open for a final season at USF, Bulls 3-point extraordinaire Kitija Laksa has gently shut it.

The program’s No. 6 all-time scorer (1,764 points), Laksa, who suffered a season-ending knee injury three games into her senior season last November, announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter she has chosen to “close this chapter” at USF and “pursue new challenges.”

“I am proud to have earned my (psychology) degree and to have been a part of this great university,” Laksa tweeted. “USF and the Tampa Bay community will always be in my heart.”

In March, she had announced she wasn’t entering the WNBA draft, leaving open the possibility of applying for a medical redshirt and playing another season with the Bulls.

“I, and I think all of Bulls Nation, thank her for the great contributions she made to our program and in representing our university,” Bulls coach Jose Fernandez tweeted Thursday.

“I know this was not an easy decision for her and I wish her the very best as she looks toward the next goals and challenges in her life.”

Related: If not for the tight costumes, USF’s Kitija Laksa might be a gymnast today

A 6-footer from Latvia, Laksa was a two-time unanimous first-team All-American Athletic Conference pick. She led USF in scoring as a junior (21.1 ppg) and sophomore (19.2 ppg), recording a pair of 40-point games (and three others of at least 30 points) in the 2017-18 season.

She also set an NCAA single-game record that year when she hit 11 consecutive 3-pointers in a 108-48 romp of Southern University.

Related: Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

She tore her right ACL in an 88-39 victory against Bethune-Cookman last November, landing awkwardly near the baseline after trying to catch a long pass in transition.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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