May 24, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Emily Niemann, a junior-to-be on the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team, has left the program and will withdraw from school following the Spring 2006 academic quarter, head coach Mark French announced Wednesday.
A 6'1" forward, Niemann came to UCSB from Baylor University in August of 2005, and practiced with the Gauchos but did not compete last season while fulfilling NCAA Division I transfer requirements.
"After a careful process of evaluating my life and my heart, I have decided to end my college basketball career. My intention is to pursue my dreams of being actively involved overseas in humanitarian work," Niemann stated. "I am grateful for the opportunity to share my life with the Gaucho family over the past year. Coach French's leadership of his program is second-to-none, and my former teammates are incredible people whom I have a great deal of love and respect for. The education I received while a student at UCSB has greatly impacted me and exposed me to knowledge I am so thankful for."
Niemann played the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons at Baylor, averaging 9.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 48.4% shooting in 71 career games. The was instrumental in the Lady Bears' 2005 national championship run, scoring 19 points and draining five three-pointers in their 84-62 victory over Michigan State in the NCAA title game. Her 45.1% career three-point percentage is a BU school record.
Niemann is a 2003 graduate of Westbury High School in her native Houston, where she was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' Private School Player of the Year as a senior. She averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks that season while leading the Wildcats to their third 3A state championship during her prep career. Niemann also received many national honors including All-American acclaim from both Nike and Street and Smith's in 2002.
"All members of our UCSB women's basketball family wish Emily the very best as she moves into the next phase of her life," French said.