VALENCIA — Lauren Wasylson learned a lot the first time she was recruited.
Coming out of Mars High School, Wasylson was in high demand among college women's basketball coaches across the country because of her 6-foot frame, long wingspan, shooting touch and quickness to the rim.
But Wasylson was also unsure of what to look for in a school then.
That's not a problem now.
Wasylson has entered the transfer portal, ending her three-year run at Xavier University.
She said it was a difficult decision to leave the Musketeers, where she started 64 games and averaged 6.3 points per contest, but it was a choice that was best for her.
“It took me weeks to decide,” Wasylson said. “I made so many good friends on and off the court. It was one of the things that was holding me back from leaving Xavier. My heart's here, but it was time to move on and try to excel somewhere else.”
One of the things that paved the way for Wasylson to leave was the fact she will graduate with her bachelor's degree in business in May.
She will be able to pursue her masters degree and play out her final two years of eligibility elsewhere.
“One of my goals was to graduate in three years and I did that,” Wasylson said. “The main thing for me is I have an opportunity to go to another place and experience a new school for two years rather than just be here for one.”
Since Wasylson was in high school, her goal had always been to get her bachelor's degree in three years.
She took college-weighted classes while still at Mars and took full course loads at Xavier while also playing basketball to achieve that lofty goal.
“It was hard,” Wasylson said. “It feels good to achieve that goal I was striving for. I'm happy I got it done.”
When Wasylson entered the transfer portal, she was worried.
“I was nervous,” Wasylson said, chuckling. “I was so nervous going in there.”
Those fears were allayed quickly.
“I put my name out there and I immediately got a text message from a coach,” Wasylson said. “He was like, 'Hey, I just saw your name in the portal. Then I got a call from my dad who said a coach had just hit him up. I didn't think I was going to get interest that quickly. It feels really good. It does. It feels good to start over a little bit and have a fresh start.”
Wasylson said she has narrowed her next destination down to a few schools. She doesn't want to drag the process out.
She wants to make a decision quickly.
It's been easier this time around because Wasylson knows exactly what she wants.
“The first thing I want is culture,” Wasylson said. “I want to be on a team that loves to be around each other and loves to be in the gym. I want to be surrounded by a bunch of gym rats and have a great relationship with the coaching staff.
“Another thing that is important to me is finding a school that's not going to put me in a box and being just labeled as a shooter,” Wasylson added. “I worked on my game tirelessly, especially during the pandemic. I've always said that the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. I got to really work on my game and incorporate different things in my game.”
Wasylson said she has enjoyed the recruiting process this time around.
“A lot of the schools I'm talking to now I talked to the first time around,” she said. “It's been nice to rekindle those relationships and talk to them again.”