School refuses e-mail request for transfer
WACO, Texas -- Emily Niemann, who helped Baylor win the women's national championship four months ago, sent team officials an e-mail saying she wants to transfer. The school isn't allowing it.
Still, it appears the 6-foot-1 forward has played her last game for the Lady Bears.
"It is with shock and personal disappointment that we announce Emily Niemann is leaving our program," coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said in a statement Tuesday.
Athletic director Ian McCaw said the school is refusing permission for Niemann to speak with other schools "due to the timing and circumstances of this request." McCaw said Niemann is appealing that decision.
"According to Emily's e-mail, she does not believe she can reach her full potential in our program," Mulkey-Robertson said. "Following the success Emily achieved the past two years and the vital role she played in our team winning a national championship, we were stunned by her decision and it could not have come at a worse time with school starting in two weeks."
Niemann averaged 9.8 points last season, third-best on a club that went 33-3, including an 84-62 victory over Michigan State in the national championship game. Her 47 percent shooting from 3-point range led the team.
In the title game she went 5-for-5 on 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 19 points, one below her career-high. She came off the bench when the game was only a few minutes old and nailed two 3s for the Lady Bears' first points. She had a rebound and a putback early in the second half, when the Spartans had gotten within 10 points.
"I think she was the whole key to this game," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said that night. "If you take 51 off the floor, it was a different game. She was definitely the X-factor."
Niemann scored 14 points in the semifinals as Baylor rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat LSU.
Her brother, Jeff, led Rice to the College World Series title in 2003. He pitches in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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