Essence Booker, Nevada’s top scorer, won’t return

Essence Booker is leaving the Nevada women’s basketball team.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Sophomore guard Essence Booker is expected to transfer from the Nevada women’s basketball team.

Booker released the following statement via her Twitter account on Friday, March 13. 

“I want to thank the University of Nevada for allowing me to put on for my city (702) and fulfill my dream of playing college basketball. However after many conversations with God and my family, I have made the decision to continue my journey on another path. I would like to thank Coach (Amanda) Levens and the staff for providing me the opportunity to wear a Nevada jersey these last two years. I will forever be grateful for the countless friendships I’ve created during my time here and the lifelong lessons I’ve learned. Wolf Pack fans, thank you for your energy, time, and support— it never went unnoticed. I will always support this program and forever be a part of the Pack. With that being said, everything is in God’s hands.” 

Booker led the team with 389 points and 73 assists in 31 games with the Wolf Pack last season. She averaged a team-high 12.5 points per game on 37.7 percent shooting from the field, 35.8 percent from 3-point range and 84.4 percent from the free throw line. 

The Las Vegas native spent two seasons with the program. She played in 30 games with 12 starts her freshman year and ranked third on the team with 50 assists. 

Booker was leaned upon as the primary ball handler and go-to scorer for a young Wolf Pack team this season. She scored in double-figures in 21 games, including a career-high 21 points against Sacramento State on Nov. 9, 2019. 

Prior to her stint at Nevada, Booker was a four-time letter winner in basketball in Spring Valley High School. She led the Grizzlies to back-to-back conference championships in 2015-16 and a state championship in 2015. 

Following a second round loss to Fresno State in the Mountain West Women’s Basketball Tournament, Nevada prepares for next season without its leading scorer.

— Isaiah Burrows

Essence Booker at a preseason practice. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

ABOUT Isaiah Burrows

Isaiah Burrows
Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where is the sports editor of the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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