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Senior forward Jordan Obi dribbles in the Ivy Madness semifinal against Princeton on Mar. 15.

Credit: Sonali Chandy

Penn women’s basketball senior forward Jordan Obi will transfer to Kentucky for her final year of collegiate eligibility, she announced on Instagram Thursday.

Obi joins the Wildcats for her graduate year after a superb undergraduate career with the Quakers. Her 1,142 career points rank 11th in Penn program history, while her 85 career blocks are good for ninth. Obi was also a three-time All-Ivy selection, including a senior season that saw her named to first team All-Ivy as well as the All-Big 5 first team.

Obi’s transfer is the result of a conflict between NCAA and Ivy League policy. In 2020, Obi’s freshman season, winter sports were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the NCAA granted all affected athletes an additional year of collegiate eligibility. However, since the Ivy League prohibits graduate students from participating in athletics, Obi cannot use the additional year at Penn.

Penn enjoyed great team success during Obi’s tenure, finishing with a winning record and qualifying for Ivy Madness in each of the last two seasons. Obi led the team in rebounds during both campaigns while finishing second on the team in scoring in both years. 

The seasons were also alike in their ending, with the Red and Blue falling to Princeton in the first round of Ivy Madness in back-to-back years. In the latter defeat, Obi scored 15 points and was a part of a notable ending sequence in which she was called for a controversial offensive foul on a shot that would have otherwise tied the game with 14 seconds remaining. Overall, Obi averaged 14.9 points per game against the Tigers during her Quaker career.

Obi joins a Kentucky team that finished 12th in the SEC last season. Following the campaign, the Wildcats parted ways with head coach Kyra Elzy and brought in former Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks. Obi joins a number of other high-profile transfers to the team this offseason, including former North Carolina forward Teonni Key and former Virginia Tech guard and third team All-American Georgia Amoore.

This marks the second straight season in which Penn will lose one of its top players to a graduate transfer. Last year, Quaker senior guard Kayla Padilla transferred to USC for her final season of eligibility and helped the Trojans to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. Obi will hope to find similar success in her new home.

Despite the loss of Obi, Penn is set to return many of this season’s key contributors. Four of the team’s five starters will return to the Red and Blue, including junior guard Stina Almqvist, the Quakers’ leading scorer, and freshman guard Mataya Gayle, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Almqvist, Gayle, and the rest of the team will all play a critical role as the team attempts to replace one of the most impactful players in program history.