Four years go by fast. For women’s basketball senior Davellyn Whyte, it hasn’t quite set in that her career as a Wildcat is over following the team’s 66-48 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 tournament.
Arizona’s second all-time leading scorer, with 2,059 career points has had a bumpy four years. Being one of the greatest women’s basketball players in school history certainly hasn’t been easy, but she said she reflects on her time in Tucson with no regrets.
“Looking back, when I was freshman I didn’t see it all happening this fast,” Whyte said. “Some things went the way they were supposed to [and] some didn’t, but I’m happy with how everything ended because it all happened for a reason.”
Though Whyte finished her Wildcat career in the top-10 of 14 all-time Arizona career statistics, her 2010-11 sophomore season was the only year the Wildcats finished a season with a winning record while Whyte was a member of the team. That same year, Arizona made it to the women’s college basketball NIT tournament, which was Whyte’s only postseason experience.
Every year, Whyte said it seemed coaches and players were rotating in and out of the Arizona program.
“It was hard making constant adjustments so I just went out there and played my game,” Whyte said. “Once I was out on the court, it was kind of freeing and none of that stuff affected my game.”
Whyte was the first recruit by current Arizona head coach Niya Butts, who managed to persuade the 2009 Gatorade Arizona High School Player of the year.
“She’s become a real leader on and off court,” Butts said about Whyte. “She’s grown up so much in just four years.”
Whyte said she doesn’t remember her feelings early in her college career, but she never would have guessed it would have ended as it did.
Whyte immediately jumped onto the scene when she dropped 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds in her first collegiate game against Iona College in 2009.
The opening game would just be the beginning for the eventual four-time All-Pac-12 selectee. Whyte would go on to start in all 126 games she played in, scoring over 20 points in 35 of those games.
The 126 games though would go by fast and before she knew it, Whyte was walking off the court at Seattle’s KeyArena following the team’s first round exit in the 2013 Pac-12 conference tournament.
“Before the game, it was on my mind that this could be it, but once I was out on the court I was just focused on the game,” Whyte said.
Arizona was eliminated by Utah as the Utes sunk 12 3-pointers in their 66-48 victory over the Wildcats.
“It sucked,” Whyte said. “Especially since it was a team we should have beat and had already beaten twice this year. After the game in the locker room, it kind of sunk in.”
Now, almost three weeks later, Whyte said it still hasn’t sunk in that she will soon be trading in a Wildcats jersey for a professional one.
“[Playing in the WNBA] has always been a goal of mine so now I’m doing my best to showcase my skills while most of the girls are still playing [in the tournament],” Whyte said. “It kind of sucks that I’m here not playing, but there are some camps I will go to. But whatever happens, happens.”
The WNBA draft consists of three rounds of 12 teams. Only first-round draft picks are guaranteed a roster spot while second and third round selectees still have to work in training camp for a roster spot.
Whyte, who in many mock drafts is a second-round selection, said she is optimistic about the draft but has backup plans of playing overseas in France with former teammates if the WNBA doesn’t work out.
Whyte will learn if she’s been drafted April 15, but for now, she said she will use these final months to soak it all in and reflect on her short but memorable time as a Wildcat.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” Whyte said, looking back on her time as a Wildcat. “Not to say it’s been bad, but there have been up and down moments and even though it seems like just yesterday I started, I’m proud of myself for riding it through and giving it my all.”