Avant leaves Lady Vol basketball program

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (utladyvols.com) -- University of Tennessee freshman point guard Lauren Avant will not return to the Lady Vol basketball team next season, head coach Pat Summitt announced on Wednesday.

“Lauren came to me today and we talked about her freshman year and all of the medical challenges she faced on and off the court,” said Summitt. “Things never seemed to fall in place for her with regards to basketball.

“I want Lauren to be successful and happy. She is a tremendous student-athlete who is serious about going to medical school and becoming an orthopaedic surgeon. She hasn’t ruled out playing basketball at a smaller school but her focus is on her academics.”

Avant, who battled injuries and illness all season long, will finish the spring semester at Tennessee.

The 5-9 Memphis, Tenn., native played in 19 games off the bench and averaged 2.6 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 8.0 mpg. Her best performance came in the Lady Vols’ come-from-behind victory at Vanderbilt on Feb. 13 where she sparked the team in the second half with a season-best 11 points in 17 minutes after the break.

Avant committed to Tennessee when she was 14 and was rated the 28th-best player in the 2010 Class according to ESPN HoopGurlz. She only played in eight games as a high school senior at Lausanne Collegiate School due to a shoulder injury, but averaged 15.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 6.6 apg and 5.8 spg during her five-year varsity career.

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