Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes to forego WNBA draft, return to school

A huge retention for the Scarlet Knights

Rutgers redshirt junior guard Arella Guirantes will forego her eligibility in the 2020 WNBA Draft and return to Piscataway for her senior season, the program announced Tuesday evening.

Guirantes transferred from Texas Tech after her freshman season, but had to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA rules. Due to this, she would’ve qualified to participate in the upcoming virtual WNBA Draft on April 17 — High Post Hoops had her as the 10th overall pick to the Phoenix Mercury — but instead opted to play out her final year of eligibility at Rutgers.

“I have my goals written down, and I didn’t write them down for nothing,” Guirantes said in a release “…I was going to make a decision to get it over with, but this decision is what I’m supposed to be going through. What I needed to do was be faithful toward my goals. I want to be the Big Ten Player of the Year, a First Team All-American and win a championship with Rutgers Basketball. This is what I’m supposed to go through to be prepared for those moments.”

Guirantes was the top scorer in the Big Ten and ranked ninth in country in 2019-20, averaging 20.6 points per game — a substantial increase from her 12.6 average in 2018-19. She scored over 20 points in 15 of her 30 appearances this year, highlighted by a 36-point output against Ohio State on February 22. She also shot 38.5% from beyond the arc and collected 6 rebounds per game on the season. This collection of accomplishments earned her unanimous First-Team All-Big Ten honors.

The Bellport, New York native’s return will bolster a Scarlet Knights roster that went 22-9 overall and 11-7 in the Big Ten, tied with Ohio State for the 5th best in the conference.

“Arella is the perfect leader to bring Rutgers women’s basketball to the next level as we continue our resurgence as a national power,” said Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer in the release. “We appreciate her dedication to our program and her commitment to excellence. Her work ethic and competitive drive is second to none and we are excited to welcome her back for her senior season.”

“It’s one of the reasons I came to Rutgers,” Guirantes said of Stringer. “To learn from one of the best of all time. We are part of each other’s journey and we are both leaving a legacy at Rutgers.”

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