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Nov. 22, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina junior guard Sarah Burgess is leaving the Gamecock women’s basketball program effective Monday.

A native of Brook Park, Ohio, where she graduated from Regina HS, Burgess has expressed interest in transferring to a school in her home state.

“This is the hardest decision I have made in my life so far, having to leave my family here, especially my teammates,” Burgess said. “I have enjoyed playing with them and they will always be on my mind. I’ve decided to pursue my academic and athletic interests at a school closer to home in Ohio. I wish USC all the best.”

“We wish Sarah well as she moves forward and continues on with her career,” South Carolina head coach Susan Walvius said. “She asked for us to release her from her scholarship, and we will help her find a school that is a better fit for her.”

One of only two juniors on a roster with no seniors, Burgess was expected to be a key contributor for the Gamecocks in 2004-05. Her decision to transfer comes on the heels of three games in which she was never able to get into a rhythm and struggled greatly with her shooting. Though not in the starting lineup for either of USC’s two regular-season games against Washington and UNLV, Burgess’ 23.0 minutes per game ranked fourth on the team and were the most among shooting guards.

Injuries have been a part Burgess’ collegiate career, as she missed two games at the end of her sophomore year after sustaining a concussion. She also missed three games in December of her freshman year after undergoing her second surgery in four months for compartmental nerve damage in her right leg. He first compartmental nerve surgery came in September after she suffered from the nerve problem in her left leg during preseason workouts.

Through two games this year, Burgess was averaging 6.0 points on 1-for-13 shooting from three-point range. In 26 games as a sophomore in 2003-04, Burgess registered four starts and averaged 7.3 points on .285 shooting from three-point range. As a freshman, Burgess played in 28 games and averaged 6.7 points per game on .408 shooting from three-point range.