Shooting guard Kye Allums will not return to the court for the Colonials next season.
Allums, the first transgender basketball player in NCAA Division I history, will likely undergo the first steps in a gender reassignment surgery this summer.
“I have decided to no longer compete for the women’s basketball team at George Washington University,” Allums said. “I alone came to this conclusion, and I thank the athletic department for respecting my wishes.”
The junior did not return a request for further comment.
Assistant sports information director Jesse Hooker said Allums is enrolled at the University for the fall semester, but declined to comment when asked if GW would continue to honor Allums’ scholarship in light of his departure from the team. Allums initally enrolled at GW under a women’s basketball scholarship that would fund his tutition throughout his tenure.
“Kye has informed the athletic department that, after careful consideration, he has decided that it is in his best interest to no longer participate in intercollegiate athletics,” a statement from the University, provided by Hooker, said. “We respect his wishes, and he has our continued support.”
Allums first openly identified himself as transgender in a November story in Out Magazine. The junior, who identified as a lesbian throughout high school, said his biggest fear in coming out as transgender was the possibility that it would make him ineligible to play college basketball.
Allums, who is no longer listed on the women’s basketball online roster, played in just eight games this season before being sidelined by concussions, something that had plagued the junior since his days playing soccer in high school. Rolanda Delamartinez, Allums’ mother, said in February that Allums still complained of lingering effects from the injuries.
That fear was alleviated when Allums learned that, to maintain his eligibility as a student-athlete on the women’s basketball team, he would just have to hold off on any gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy until April 2012, by which time he will have completed his eligibility as a student-athlete. His story drew attention from national media, and Allums stepped into the spotlight as a symbol of the transgender community.
The University’s Office of Media Relations came under scrutiny in February, when Delamartinez alleged that GW stifled opportunities about his history-making role. Delamartinez said that the University rejected media requests for Allums in an effort to bury the story, an allegation the University denied.
Delamartinez also said that Allums intended to undergo gender reassignment surgery in May, but was instructed by the University to tell members of the media that he was not planning to undergo the procedure, an allegation the University again denied.