Hailey Van Lith Transfers To LSU
BATON ROUGE – Hailey Van Lith, the top-rated player in this year’s transfer portal, has announced her decision to join the defending national champions and transfer to LSU.
This marks the second consecutive season the Tigers have landed the top player in the transfer portal. Angel Reese was the top player in last year’s portal and went on have a historic season and led LSU to its first NCAA Championship during her first year with the program.
“The fan base and university here love and support their women’s basketball team like no other,” Van Lith said. “I cannot wait to play for this incredible community. LSU plays with an intensity and grit that I am drawn to and I am wholeheartedly committed to helping this team be great.”
Van Lith will team up with Reese along with other returners like SEC Freshman of the Year Flau’jae Johnson, SEC All-Freshman forward Sa’Myah Smith, Kateri Poole and Last-Tear Poa who were all key components in the championship season during Coach Kim Mulkey’s second year at LSU. The Tigers are also bringing in the top rated freshmen recruiting class in the country with Mikaylah Williams, Aalyah Del Rosario, Angelica Velez and Janae Kent.
“I am very familiar with the skillset and work ethic Hailey brings to Baton Rouge,” Coach Kim Mulkey said. “She will bring a wealth of experience and talent to our backcourt. Hailey has a fiery personality and passion for the game that Tiger fans will love!”
One of the top players in the ACC and in the country in recent years, Van Lith has two years of eligibility remaining. A two-time First Team All-ACC player and AP All-America honorable mention for Louisville, Van Lith is an impact player. The 5-7 guard from Wenatchee, Washington is coming off the most productive year of her career at Louisville and earned AP All-America honorable mention honors. Van Lith averaged 19.7 points, 3.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game this season. Van Lith and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark are the only two players in the country who averaged at least 19 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists throughout the year. Louisville and Van Lith reached this year’s Elite Eight before falling to Iowa.
Van Lith was also an impact player during the 2021-22 season, being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Wichita Regional en route to an appearance in the 2022 Final Four.
Across her three seasons at Louisville — two of which she was the team’s leading scorer — Van Lith compiled an average of 15.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game on 42.2% shooting from the field (33.7% from 3). She finished 12th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,553 points in three seasons.
As the No. 7 recruit out of high school per HoopGurlz, she was a McDonald’s All American and a finalist for the Naismith Trophy high school player of the year. She also has extensive experience with USA Basketball.
Hailey Van Lith Quotes:
What was it about LSU that gave you initial interest and what led you ultimately join the Tigers?
“The fan base and university here love and support their women’s basketball team like no other. I cannot wait to play for this incredible community. LSU plays with an intensity and grit that I am drawn to and I am wholeheartedly committed to helping this team be great.”
What excites you about the opportunities you will have at LSU and playing for Coach Mulkey?
“Coach Mulkey and I have had a great relationship since I was in high school. I am extremely excited and honored to have an opportunity to play for her. She will help elevate my game and push me to be successful at the next level.”
With the players that LSU has returning from the National Championship, how do you see your game fitting with theirs to allow LSU to have continued success on the court?
“LSU’s team is full of great players. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to play with them. I know that my teammates will embrace my competitiveness and fire. I will be showcasing my ability to make winning plays on both ends of the court.”