Less than a week after winning its second national championship in program history, the South Carolina women’s basketball team is seeing players enter the transfer portal.
Two current South Carolina players, sophomore guard Eniya Russell and senior forward Elysa Wesolek, announced on social media on April 8 that they intend on entering the transfer portal.
"Along my journey thus far I have been blessed beyond measures. Basketball has been a dream of mine since a youngin' playing on the courts of Baltimore City," Russell said in the tweet. "I appreciate all the love and support received by my teammates, fellow athletes, coaching staff, and the FAMS. It's love to be cherished."
Russell played in 49 games in her two-year career with the Gamecocks. She averaged 2.3 points per game and played an average of 7.7 minutes across 23 games this season.
"Becoming a part of the Gamecock nation on and off the court was undoubtedly a highlight that cannot be forgotten. A Final Four in my freshman year and a National Championship my sophomore year is an experience of a life time," Russell said in the tweet. "I am grateful to be apart of the legacy cemented by South Carolina Gamecocks Women's Basketball."
Before coming to Columbia, Russell was a McDonald's All-American and the No. 43 high school recruit in the country for the class of 2020. Russell was the only recruit in the head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley's 2020 class.
Wesolek, a Charleston, S.C. native, played in 71 games during her four years with the Gamecocks.
“I am thankful to God for the countless opportunities He has granted me through my journey here at South Carolina,” Wesolek said in an Instagram post. “I am grateful and beyond blessed to be apart of this legacy in the making and all that we;ve accomplished during my undergraduate career.”
Wesolek averaged less than a point per game in her last two seasons in Columbia, while averaging one point per game in her entire career. She played in a career-high 21 games this year, averaging 3.4 minutes per game.
“Since I was four years old, it's always been a dream of mine to attend the University of South Carolina and play the sport that I grew up playing and love upon,” Wesolek said in an Instagram post. “Come May, I will be a proud Gamecock Alumnus and will always cherish what that means deeply in my path to the next steps in my career.”
Off the court, Wesolek was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll her junior year, the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll her sophomore year, and the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll her freshman year.
Russell and Wesolek are the first Gamecocks to enter the transfer portal since Te’a Cooper, LaDazhia Williams and Bianca Jackson transferred after the 2018-2019 season.
South Carolina is seeing players move into the program as well.
Georgia Tech transfer Kierra Fletcher committed on April 6 to join head coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks. The fifth-year guard announced the move on her Instagram.
Fletcher played four years for the Yellow Jackets before taking a medical redshirt year during the 2021-2022 season.
She started in 111 out of the 113 games she played in and averaged 9.6 points per game in her four years with Georgia Tech. Fletcher’s best scoring year came in the 2020-2021 season where she averaged 13 points per game.