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Senior guard Mia Lakstigala shoots during a game against Harvard at the Palestra on Jan. 29. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn women’s basketball senior guard Mia Lakstigala is transferring to George Washington University to play out her final year of eligibility with the Colonials next season, she announced in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“The time spent and the amazing people I have been able to share my journey with over the years at Penn will always hold a special place in my heart,” Lakstigala wrote. “Forever grateful to be a Quaker.”

The move follows a trend of Penn basketball seniors transferring to other programs to utilize their remaining eligibility. Recently, seniors Jelani Williams and Bryce Washington of Penn men’s basketball announced commitments to Howard University and Hofstra University, respectively.

During the 2021-22 season, the Ivy League allowed graduate students to compete due to the COVID-19-induced cancellation of the 2020-21 season. However, in this upcoming season, graduate students who lost a year due to COVID-19 are unable to participate in the Ivy League, despite other conferences allowing those same athletes an extra year of eligibility.

Hence, Lakstigala is able to play another season at George Washington.

This past season with the Quakers, the Naperville, Ill. native was a crucial starter for Penn women’s basketball. Lakstigala was the third-leading scorer and rebounder on the team, with 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. She also averaged 2.0 assists per game, the second-most among the rotation.

During her freshman and sophomore seasons, Lakstigala was largely relegated to the bench, playing just 7.3 and 6.1 minutes per game, respectively. As such, this season — which came after her junior season was canceled due to COVID-19 — served as her breakout.

“This year has been really nice to finally wear a Penn jersey again,” Lakstigala told The Daily Pennsylvanian in November 2021. “It’s really helped me value every single game because nothing is guaranteed, so now I have a whole new perspective on being grateful for every time I get to play.” 

Outside of Lakstigala, the Red and Blue are also losing senior forward Kennedy Suttle, who was a consistent starter, and senior guard Nikola Kovacikova, who averaged 14.8 minutes per game in her lone season as a Quaker. Penn finished the season with a 12-14 overall record and a 7-7 Ivy League record, which left it just out of the Ivy Tournament due to a tiebreaker with Harvard.