Former five-star recruit and the face of Louisville women’s basketball for the past three years, Hailey Van Lith officially entered the transfer portal this morning, which collectively shocked the Louisville fanbase.
For the past three years, Van Lith averaged 15.4 points per game, 2.5 assists per game, and 4.4 rebounds per game.
The southpaw from the Pacific Northwest committed to the Cardinals back in 2019 as a member of the Class of 2020, becoming one of the highest rated recruits to pledge to the University of Louisville.
And now her time as a Cardinal has come to an end. According to On3’s NIL report, she holds the seventh highest value in women’s college basketball.
Now she will leave the city of Louisville, who embraced her from the very beginning and vice versa. Hailey Van Lith is and always will be an honorary member of the city of Louisville and has brought so much joy and hope to the next generations of women’s basketball stars.
Her next step in her journey has yet to be determined publicly, but according to reports by multiple media outlets, she is under “do not contact” protocol which means she knows where her next destination is going to be.
Speculation points to a program who is in “win now mode” and/or a program on the West Coast as she is from Washington.
A talent such as the 5-foot-7 guard would have been highly coveted in the transfer portal, but it does not appear that will be the case. She knows her next home and Louisville fans will support her every step of the way.
But, a question does arise from this whole scenario, and that is: Did anyone know this was going to happen?
Because to most fans, it seemed like it came out of left-field, but to other fans it seemed inevitable this was going to happen. Her being the face of Jeff Walz’s teams the past several years would lead one to doubt she could ever leave, but in this fast-paced NCAA transfer portal frenzy, it’s not the most shocking outcome.
With a depleted roster, as it stands right now, next season is projecting to be a rinse and repeat of the past three seasons, were Hailey Van Lith to return next season. Much like before, she would play the most minutes on the team and carry the majority of the scoring load, which is a lot to carry for one person.
Especially if she really is a Robin-type player and not a Batman-type player. She provides tenacity and a great scoring output, but unfortunately couldn’t will her team to a National Championship game. However, no one can take away the amount of success she has had in a Cardinal jersey.
For this reason, a lot of people believed that her leaving Louisville was inevitable, particularly with her marketability, her skill set, tenacity, passion, and talent all wrapped up into one person. She clearly has the world at her fingertips and this is only the beginning.