Northern Illinois freshman forward and Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year Claire Jakubicek has applied to transfer from NIU, an NIU official confirmed to the Daily Chronicle on Tuesday morning.
Claire’s mother, Ellen Jakubicek, told Shaw Media’s Ross Jacobsen on Tuesday that the transfer was not health-related – Claire’s season ended Feb. 16 after she suffered a broken foot against Ball State – but because NIU was no longer a good fit for Claire.
“It was not health related at all. She did not feel it was a good fit for her. She’s all geared up to play basketball and continue on with the process,” Ellen said.
Ellen Jakubicek told Shaw Media that Claire should be healthy enough to play by June, is due to get her cast off in a week and the list of potential schools for Claire includes universities in Illinois and out of state.
“She has many places that she’s interested in,” Ellen said. “It’s a matter of who has the scholarship to offer, some may have given away their scholarships for this next year. She definitely wants to play basketball.”
In a statement released by NIU, women’s basketball coach Kathi Bennett said the decision to leave was Claire’s.
“Claire Jakubicek has decided to transfer and we are in the process of handling her request,” the statement read. “In her one season with us, Claire played very well and did great things. She worked very hard and a lot of effort went into her as a player and person. This was her decision to leave. We wish her the best.”
The loss of Jakubicek is a big one for the Huskies. She was just the second player in school history to be named MAC Freshman of the Year, and NIU will have to find a way to replace her 11 points and 5.1 rebounds a game. Jakubicek also made 47 of her 49 free throws and NIU lost four straight games in immediately after her injury.