Olivia Owens announces departure from UK womens basketball team


Kentucky Wildcats center Olivia Owens (00) boxes out during a free throw during the UK vs. Presbyterian College women’s basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 81-53. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke

Kentucky center Olivia Owens announced via Twitter she was departing the womens basketball team to transfer into law school. 

“I will be a proud Kentucky Alumnus and will always carry blue in my heart,” Owens said in her statement. “With bittersweet emotions, I will be leaving Kentucky, but to pursue my career as a future attorney. Therefore, I am entering the transfer portal as a grad transfer. Thank you BBN! It was a privilege.”

Owens transferred to Kentucky as a redshirt sophomore from Maryland, and was granted immediate eligibility for the 2020-2021 season.

As a redshirt sophomore, Owens played in 25 games, earning five starts, and averaged 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

She remained on the team as a redshirt junior, playing in 28 games with nine starts, with the bulk of her starts coming during Kentucky’s injury heavy 1-8 skid from early January until early February.

Owens averaged 3.1 points and three rebounds per game in an average of 13 minutes on the court.

At Kentucky, Owens majored in US Culture and Business Practices, though per her announcement, will be pursuing her dream of being an attorney at the college she chooses to transfer to.

Owens is the fourth Wildcat to announce their departure from the program via the transfer portal, posting about her departure on social media just three days after Dre’una Edwards, Jazmine Massengill and Treasure Hunt all entered the transfer portal to pursue the rest of their playing careers elsewhere.

With veteran star Rhyne Howard also leaving the team for the WNBA Draft, Owens became the fifth Wildcat, out of a total of 10, from last season’s roster that will not return to the team in the fall.

Regardless, Owens did not indicate any issues within the program that lead to her departure, but rather that her dream of practicing law was the main motivating factor in her decision to leave.

“I am so blessed and grateful to be apart of BBN and all that we’ve accomplished,”  Owens wrote. “I want to thank my coaches for loving me and guiding me on and off the court. I’d like to thank the staff for the constant encouragement and support. I want to thank my teammates for two great years. And most importantly, thank you Big Blue Nation, for welcoming me and loving me.”