Pitt Women's Basketball
Pitt Forward Cynthia Ezeja Transfers to Loyola Marymount
Pitt forward Cynthia Ezeja announced her decision to transfer to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Calif. on her Instagram on Wednesday.
Ezeja came to Pitt as a part of head coach Lance White’s inaugural recruiting class in 2019, which included guards Dayshanette Harris and Emy Hayford and forwards Amber Brown and Rita Igbokwe. Igbokwe transferred to Ole Miss following the 2021-22 season.
She redshirted during the 2019-20 season and played for three seasons from 2020-21 to 2022-23. Ezeja served a reserve role during her time as a Panther, playing in 48 games, starting five and averaging 12.1 minutes per contest.
Ezeja scored 2.2 points, grabbed 4.4 rebounds and shot 41.7% from the field during her time at Pitt. She played in 12 games in as a redshirt junior and started just one game last season.
Standing at 6-foot-2, the Greek forward should see more playing time on the court at the mid-major level, as Loyola Marymount play in the West Coast Conference (WCC).
Ezeja joins a bunch of players who have announced their decision to transfer following the dismissal of White in March.
Pitt fired White for poor performance after five seasons as at the helm. White accrued a record of 42-99, the worst five-year stretch of any head coach in Panthers history. Athletic Director Heather Lyke found the new Pitt head coach in Tory Verdi,who has led Eastern Michigan and UMass from the bottom to the top of their conferences as head coach of those programs.
Nine Pitt players entered the transfer portal soon after his departure and Class of 2023 recruit Hannah Watson decommitted from the program on Monday to made it 10 players who have left.
Guards Avery Strickland and Sandrine Clesca both found new schools on Tuesday. Strickland decided to go home and announced her transfer to Tennessee and Clesca transferred to mid-major Monmouth.
Former guard Dayshanette Harris announced her transfer to Clemson on Sunday, while forwards in Amber Brown and Maliyah Johnson transferred to St. John’s and Houston, respectively, this offseason as well.
The list below shows the players that have placed their name in the transfer portal and those that are staying for the next season.
The remaining players who are in the transfer portal will not return to Pitt and will find other schools in the near future.
Graduate Dayshanette Harris: one year (Clemson)
Graduate Emy Hayford: one year
Graduate Destiny Strother: one year
Senior Sandrine Clesca: two years (Monmouth)
Senior Taisha Exanor: two years
Sophomore Avery “Ace” Strickland: three years (Tennessee)
Graduate forward Amber Brown: one year (St. John’s)
Redshirt senior Cynthia Ezeja: two years (Loyola Marymount)
Junior Maliyah Johnson: two years (Houston)
First-year Hannah Watson: four years (Toronto Metropolitan)
2023-24 Pitt Roster + eligibility
Sophomore Marley Washenitz: three years
Sophomore Aislin Malcolm: three years
First-year Jasmine Timmerson: four years
Senior Gabby Hutcherson: two years
Senior Liatu King: two years
First-year Lauren Rust: four years
That’s a big list. Surprising since Verdi appears to be a significant coaching upgrade (or maybe Verdi let it be known that he desires to begin with a clean slate).
Who is staying?