Women’s basketball welcomes transfer guard

Gabby Nikitinaite, a 5-foot-11-inch guard from Orpington, United Kingdom, will join the women’s basketball program, according to a release from head coach Jennifer Rizzotti Thursday.

Nikitinaite transferred from Northern Illinois, where she averaged eight points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. She said playing under Rizzotti and the academic opportunities at GW influenced her decision to join the team.

“My decision to choose GW came from Coach Rizzotti and her coaching staff and their heavy assurance about the great opportunities I will be provided on and off the court,” Nikitinaite said in the release. “Coach Rizzotti’s accomplishments, as well as her staff’s, were big motivating factors for me to choose GW and I am grateful for the interest they showed for my game.”

Nikitinaite played three seasons at Northern Illinois, where she appeared in 90 games and recorded 37 career starts. She entered the transfer portal in late March, according to a tweet. Per NCAA transfer rules, she will sit out a year and hit the hardwood for the Colonials during the 2021-22 campaign, the release states.

During her final season with the Huskies, Nikitinaite shot at a 35.1 percent clip and ranked second on the roster with 44 triples over 30 games. She finished third on the squad with 61 helpers on the year.

“We are so excited about welcoming Gabby to our Colonial family,” Rizzotti said in the release. “She is a veteran guard who can impact the game in so many ways. We love that she has a lot of college experience and after scoring over 700 points at NIU, she is a proven scorer at the college level. She has great size for a guard and is an excellent passer, so she will fit in really well with how we want to play.”

The Colonials lost four players from the 2019-20 roster to graduation, and redshirt freshman guard Tori Hyduke and sophomore center Kayla Mokwuah transferred from the program at the conclusion of the season. The team will be without its top three scorers from a year ago to open the 2020-21 season.

Nikitinaite joins three freshmen – Ali Brigham, Aurea Gingras and Caranda Perea – and midseason transfer junior guard Jasmine Whitney as the squad’s newest additions.

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