A 1,000-point scorer for Nebraska women’s basketball announced Monday that she had decided to forgo a fifth year of eligibility and return home to Australia.
Isabelle Bourne, a three-year captain, thanked her coaches and teammates on social media “for giving me memories while also pushing me to better on and off the court.”
“Being able to wear a Husker uniform has been a privilege and an unforgettable opportunity,” Bourne wrote. “Thank you Husker nation for truly making Nebraska a home away from home.”
Bourne revealed her intentions to return to her native Australia, likely to pursue pro opportunities. She started all 30 games this past season and was Nebraska’s most consistent scoring option at times. She averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Bourne said the decision required “a lot of thought and hard discussions.” Bourne played at Nebraska for four seasons and became the 36th 1,000-point scorer in program history in January. Shortly after, Nebraska coach Amy Williams called Bourne a “staple” of the program.
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“For four years she’s come to practice every day with the same energy, the same mood, the same focus,” Williams said at the time. “She just doesn’t have bad days. I just think when you can be dependable like that, that’s what leads to 1,000-point scorers.”
An extra year was available to Bourne because she played her sophomore season during the COVID pandemic. NCAA rules granted Bourne and others that year back. Sam Haiby, for example, recently took advantage of the extra year.
Bourne’s close friend and fellow Australian, Jaz Shelley, has the same decision to make. A first-team All-Big Ten pick this season, Shelley has led the Huskers in scoring since her transfer two years ago from Oregon.
Nebraska has plenty to replace in losing Bourne. Posts Alexis Markowski, Annika Stewart and Maggie Mendelson return for NU, although Stewart is more of a perimeter player and Mendelson spends part of each basketball season playing for the Nebraska volleyball team. The Huskers also welcome two incoming post recruits, Natalie Potts and Jessica Petrie, to the team the summer. Petrie, like Bourne, is from Australia.
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