UCF Senior Trio To Return For 2021-22

ORLANDO – Fresh off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, the UCF women's basketball will return three key pieces as the Knights aim for a third straight postseason run, as Masseny Kaba, Courtajia Sanders and Jnaya Walker have announced their intentions to return for the 2021-22 campaign.
"Thanks to the NCAA's COVID-19 waiver, we are excited for the opportunity to bring Masseny, Tay and Jnaya back for next season," UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. "They have been extraordinary as Knights, leading us through this unprecedented year to the NCAA Tournament. We appreciate them for taking advantage of the NCAA waiver to not only further their educations, but also to return as leaders for us as we continue to raise the bar for this program."
The trio will return for an extra year thanks to the NCAA's COVID-19 Season of Competition Waiver that was granted to all winter sport student-athletes, which allows for an additional year of eligibility.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to return for another year and can't wait to be back in front of Knight Nation," Kaba said.
An American Athletic Conference All-Tournament selection in 2020-21, Kaba has been a consistent starter and team captain during her four-year career with the Black and Gold. She will enter the 2021-22 season ranked seventh on UCF's career rebounding list with 672 boards and is eighth in blocks with 82. A native of Dorchester, Mass., Kaba has been the Knights' leading rebounder in each of the last two seasons.
"I am blessed to be given an extra year of eligibility and another opportunity to improve my game and help lead my team to bigger and better things next season," Sanders said. "Overall, I'm just excited to be back in front of Knight Nation!"
The 2020-21 campaign proved to be a breakout season for Sanders, leading to American Athletic Conference Second Team honors. One of the most improved players in the league, she more than doubled her scoring average and posted a pair of double-double performances with the Black and Gold. The Bartow, Fla., native was UCF's leading scorer at 10.4 points per game and registered 11 double-figure scoring contests after having just three in her first season as a Knight.

"Being able to spend another year with my best friends and compete for a championship is what I'm looking forward to most in this extra year," Walker said. "I look forward to adding another NCAA appearance for our program."
In her first two seasons as a Knight, Walker has played a key role off the bench. While the Bolingbrook, Ill., native is not a stat-sheet stuffer, she has earned her nickname "Lil' Scrappy" with her willingness to do the little, intangible things to help UCF succeed.
The return of Kaba and Sanders means that UCF will return its entire starting five from the 2020-21 campaign. All-in-all, the Knights return every letterwinner from last season, including The American Newcomer and Co-Sixth Player of the Year Alisha Lewis, all-conference honoree Brittney Smith and all-tournament selection Diamond Battles.
The Black and Gold also added experience in Clemson transfer Shania Meertens and George Washington transfer Neila Luma, along with incoming freshmen Laila Jewett and Raychael Harjo, who signed national letters of intent in the fall. The 2021-22 roster puts the Knights in a great position to build off a runner-up finish in The American and second-straight at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.