Iowa Freshman Wing, Jinaya Houston, Takes Leave of Absence


Jinaya Houston, a freshman at the University of Iowa, is taking a leave of absence from the women’s basketball team, according to a statement from Head Coach Lisa Bluder. Houston, a three-star wing ranked no.19 at her position in the 2017 recruiting class by ESPN, will remain at the university, Bluder said.

Specific reasons for the leave of absence were not disclosed but Bluder said it will allow her to “focus on some personal and health-related issues.”

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The Davenport, IA native had been the team’s only incoming recruit until last June when 6-3 forward/center Paula Valiño Ramos, a native of Spain, signed to play in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes return a young team led by captains Hannah Stewart (junior) and Kathleen Doyle (sophomore) following a 20-14 season that ended with a quarterfinals loss in the WNIT.

Iowa’s regular season kicks off on November 10 when it faces Quinnipiac (QU) in the Hawkeye Challenge.  QU was a NCAA tournament Cinderella last year winning two games before falling to eventual national champion South Carolina.