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Aja Ellison to leave Maryland women’s basketball for Texas A&M as graduate transfer

The forward was rarely used during her time in College Park, and now will spend her final season in the Lone Star State.

Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s basketball’s Aja Ellison barely saw the floor in College Park, and will spend her final season elsewhere.

The 6’3 forward will play for Texas A&M next year as a graduate transfer, according to The Eagle. Ellison will graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism this spring and have one year of eligibility remaining.

The daughter of former NBA No. 1 overall pick Pervis Ellison and a Maryland track athlete Timi Ellison, Aja came to her mother’s alma mater as a prospect relatively new to the game who had tremendous upside. She struggled to get playing time throughout her time in a Maryland uniform, though, as she was beset by injuries and struggled to stand out on talented rosters.

Ellison averaged less than a point and rebound a game during her freshman and sophomore season, and sat out 2016-17 recovering from knee surgery. She averaged 0.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in limited time this past season, and was mostly used in mop-up duty or to prolong Stephanie Jones or Brianna Fraser’s time on the bench when they got into foul trouble.

The Voorhees, New Jersey, native’s role this year would have been the same or even less than it was this past season. Maryland had little depth inside after losing Brionna Jones to graduation and Jenna Staiti and Kiah Gillespie to transfer, but signed post players Shakira Austin and Olivia Owens as part of the 2018 recruiting class. With more depth down low, it was extremely unlikely that Ellison would have seen meaningful minutes in her final year playing college basketball.

She becomes the third player to leave Maryland as a graduate transfer in as many years, joining A’Lexus (Ace) Harrison and Kiara Leslie. Harrison averaged 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in two years at St. Francis (PA) and helped lead the team to the NCAA Tournament this year, while Leslie averaged 12.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game at NC State and was the Wolfpack’s best player in the NCAA Tournament, which included eliminating the Terps.

Maryland now has 11 players on its roster, though it’s a more experienced and talented one than last year. The Terps are also expected to be more relevant on the national stage next season, as ESPN put them at No. 7 in their Way Too Early Top 25 rankings.