Former Kentucky women’s basketball star Makayla Epps has a big weekend planned before she jets off to Europe to continue her professional basketball career.
Epps, who played this summer for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky after being drafted 33rd overall, returned to campus this fall to complete her degree in social work. She will graduate Friday. On Saturday, she will have her jersey retired at Marion County High School during the Knights’ game against Campbellsville, scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
In a story written for Lex18.com, Larry Vaught talked with Epps’ mother, Angela Mattingly, about how special this weekend’s moments will be.
“I have to say the graduation is the main thing. That’s the huge deal,” Mattingly told Vaught. “So is the jersey retirement, though. She worked so hard for that. But graduation? What’s the old story. Ball will end, but you can never take an education away.”
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Epps is considering playing in Russia or Israel beginning next month, according to Vaught, as she tries to improve her game for the next WNBA season.
Epps played sparingly for the Sky as a rookie, averaging just 3.8 minutes per game, but she impressed her coaches with her work ethic. The Sky drafted three players ahead of Epps. She was the only one to earn a roster spot.
“Makayla (Epps) was one that stood out and was able to keep her spot,” Sky assistant coach Carlene Mitchell said in a Herald-Leader story published in July. “I think she understands that she’s in rare air, there’s not a lot of rookies that made rosters, especially someone that was drafted in the third round, so I think she’s just taken the approach everyday that she will do whatever it takes to help our team.”
Epps finished her UK career with 1,790 points and 408 assists, averaging 13.5 points and 3.06 assists per game, ranking her in the top 10 in program history in each category.