Following two outstanding seasons at Utah State, Funda Nakkasoglu has made the decision to leave the Aggies and seek greener pastures. Nakkasoglu’s departure leaves a sizable hole in the team’s offensive output, with the sophomore leading the Mountain West in scoring this past season.
Funda Nakkasoglu | Credit: Utah State Athletics
Nakkasoglu has been the Aggies’ undoubted leader since arriving at Utah State in 2014, garnering no less than five Mountain West awards in her freshman year as the Victorian U20 state representative took the league by storm. Nakkasoglu also ranked third in the Mountain West in both scoring and assists in her freshman year, finishing with 17.4 points and 4.7 assists per game. The point guard stepped up a notch yet again in 2015/16, leading the Mountain West in scoring with 20.8 points per game. Nakkasoglu also finished 9th in the nation for free throw percentage at 87.9%, which included a streak of 49 consecutive made free throws. For her exploits this season, Nakkasoglu was named to the All-Mountain West First Team.
Nakkasoglu did not give any reasons for her departure at the time, stating, "It has been a hard decision, weighing all the factors. In the end, I decided to test myself in a different setting. My thoughts will be with the team and all the good people I met here in Logan. It has been an invaluable experience overall.”
However, sources in the Utah Statesman have revealed that the Victorian was unhappy with the amount of pressure being placed on her at key moments.
Nakkasoglu is the second Australian player to leave Utah State in recent years. SEQ Stars and Brisbane Spartans forward Stephanie Bairstow also played two seasons for the Aggies, before leaving midway through her junior year to return to Australia despite playing an important role throughout her time with the team. However, Utah State will still retain one Australian on the roster. Rachel Brewster will continue on with the Aggies, having enjoyed a stellar freshman season alongside Nakkasoglu.
It is not yet known whether Nakkasoglu will seek to transfer to another college program or try her hand in Australia or Europe. Certainly, if she does choose to transfer, there will be no shortage of suitors for Nakkasoglu's services given her proven ability at the collegiate level.