Makenzie Cann has decided to forgo her final season of basketball eligibility at Kentucky.
In a release sent out Thursday morning, UK said the 6-foot-1 guard and former Anderson County star will graduate in May and is leaving to pursue opportunities that will help her begin her future career.
“Wearing the Blue and White the past three years has been an honor and although pursuing my future career path shortens my time in the program, I will always be a Wildcat and a part of Big Blue Nation,” Cann said in the release.
The senior, who was honored by the Southeastern Conference for her work with the Humane Society, is planning to look into specialized classes as a veterinary tech or for running a non-profit organization.
Cann, who transferred to UK in 2015 from Cincinnati, played two seasons for the Wildcats, averaging six points and 3.5 rebounds during her time with UK. She played in 64 of the team’s 65 games with 35 starts.
This season, Cann was sixth on the team in scoring at 6.3 points with 3.4 rebounds.
The guard made 35.1 percent of her shots from the field and 33.6 percent from three-point range for the Cats, who missed postseason play for the first time in eight seasons.
“Although we will miss Makenzie being in our program, I am excited about what her future holds,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said in the release. “I know that Makenzie is going to be successful in whatever she does and I cannot thank her enough for all that she has done and the loyalty she has shown our program the past three seasons.”
A five-year starter at Anderson County, Cann finished first in her high school’s history in assists with 645 and second in points (2,207) and steals (468).
“I want to thank my teammates, coaches, all the fans and everyone that has made my dream of playing for the University of Kentucky come true,” Cann added.
Also exiting with Cann are fellow seniors Alyssa Rice and little-used guard Jessica Hardin, who missed much of the season with an injury.
Kentucky returns 80.3 percent of its scoring next season, including its top four scorers in Maci Morris, Taylor Murray, Dorie Harrison and Tatyana Wyatt and eight of its top 10 scorers overall.
The Cats also return 73.4 percent of their rebounding, 80 percent of their assists, 83.1 percent of their steals and 65.5 percent of their blocked shots from this season’s team.
They also will get Stony Brook transfer Ogechi Anyagaligbo back from a season-ending knee injury that happened in the preseason, and Kentucky signed two players who could have an immediate impact next season.
Rhyne Howard, who was named Tennessee Miss Basketball this month and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, and Harlan County’s Blair Green make up UK’s 2018 signing class, ranked No. 18 nationally by the All-Star Girls Report.