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Laken Wairau to leave women's basketball program



Sophomore guard Laken Wairau has decided to step away from the IU women’s basketball program, but will stay at IU as a student, the team announced Friday.

Wairau joins the five seniors who graduated, along with freshman guard Ria Gulley and sophomore guard Tia Elbert, to be leaving the program following a season in which they won the most games in program history. Wairau saw limited action this past season.

“We want to thank Laken for her contributions to Indiana Women’s Basketball and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” IU Coach Teri Moren said in a release.

Wairau came to IU all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand. This past season, she played in just four games and did not score. In her freshman season, she didn’t join the team until December and played in just four contests that season as well. Her first collegiate points came in a loss to Maryland in 2016. She came to IU after a senior season of high school in which she averaged 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

“At this time, I am choosing to step away from basketball to focus on continuing my education at Indiana University,” Wairau said. “I still very much love Bloomington and am excited about completing my degree in two years. I would like to thank Indiana Women’s Basketball for supporting me in this decision and I wish the program continued success.”

Rising seniors Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill are the only returning starters from last year's team. They will be leading a very inexperienced team come the 2017-2018 season, but a five-member recruiting class will provide reinforcement for Moren's squad.

Josh Eastern

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