Minnesota’s Pitts says she’s transferring amid suspension

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota leading scorer Destiny Pitts said Thursday she is transferring after the Gophers suspended her for unspecified “conduct unbecoming a member of the team.”

Pitts tweeted that she is leaving “to further my academic and athletic journey in an environment that will support me, while I develop into the person I want to become.”

Pitts said she was informed last Friday that she was suspended indefinitely for her “body language” during a game against Northwestern. The junior guard said she was “blindsided and shocked by the suspension,” which she said was the first discipline of her career at Minnesota or as a basketball player at any level.

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Pitts thanked her teammates and said she wishes coach Lindsay Whalen and her staff “nothing but the best.” She also thanked senior forwards Taiye Bello and Kehinde Bello. Pitts says the Bello sisters sat out last weekend’s trip to Illinois “in protest of a suspension they know is wrong.”

In a statement, Whalen said, “We wish Destiny the best moving forward.”

The Gophers (11-5, 1-4 Big Ten) used only seven players at Illinois on Sunday and lost 74-71, their fourth straight defeat after winning their conference opener Dec. 28 at Penn State. Minnesota was set to host Iowa (13-3, 4-1) Thursday night.

Pitts was fifth in the conference with an average of 16.3 points per game. She was a first team All-Big Ten selection last season. Taiye Bello leads the conference with an average of 9.9 rebounds per game and is Minnesota’s second-leading scorer. Kehinde Bello is a reserve, averaging 1.4 points per game. All three players are from the Detroit area.