BYU vs. Gonzaga women's basketball 09

Brigham Young University guard Leilani Otuafi (20) steals an inbound pass intended for Gonzaga University forward LeeAnne Wirth (4) during a basketball game between the BYU Cougars and the Gonzaga Bulldogs held Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at the Marriott Center in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

There’s been a late move from University Avenue to University Parkway.

Utah Valley University women’s basketball head coach Dan Nielson announced on Thursday the addition of BYU transfer Leilani Otuafi to the roster. She will redshirt the upcoming season due to transfer rules.

“We are excited to add Leilani to our Wolverine family. Her personality is a perfect fit for us on and off the court,” Nielson said. “She’s a great athlete and our fans will love her tough defensive play and ability to get to the basket. We can’t wait to see her in games during the ’21-22 season.”

Otuafi was caught in the logjam of talented guards at BYU and opted to look for another situation this summer. The Cougars have senior starters Paisley Johnson Harding and Maria Albiero returning to the guard line in 2020-21, along with 2019 West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year Shaylee Gonzales (from injury), Colgate graduate transfer Tegan Graham and top reserve Kaylee Smiler.

Otuafi prepped at Churchill County High School in Fallon, Nevada, where she led her team to three state championships, four league championships and three region titles. The four-year letterwinner was all-state each of her four years, including a three-time league MVP and three-time first-team All-State selection.

Otuafi appeared in 18 games as a freshman this past season at BYU, averaging 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. She set her season high of nine points against Utah on Nov. 29.

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