(Editor’s note: Gonzaga media release)
SPOKANE – Gonzaga redshirt junior forward Jill Barta has decided to forego her senior season and pursue her professional possibilities after graduating with her bachelor’s in special education this May from Gonzaga.
“To all the fans, teammates, coaches, friends, family, and Gonzaga University, thank you,” Barta said. “It’s been a great four years, years that will never be forgotten. I am looking forward to what my future holds for me.”
Barta is eligible and will declare for this year’s WNBA Draft. The WNBA has a league provision that allows players to submit their names for consideration in a given draft if the player’s 22nd birthday occurs within the calendar year of the same season. A player must make such a declaration at least 10 days prior to the draft, which takes place on April 12th at Nike New York Headquarters in New York City.
“Jill has been a big part of our program and has made tremendous growth on and off the court in her four years here,” Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said. “While we wish she was putting on a Gonzaga uniform next season, we support Jill in her desire to follow her dreams. She will have her degree in hand, and we are thankful for her dedication to the program. She’s a great Zag.”
Beyond basketball, Barta’s degree in special education will allow her to continue to give back to the community and impact many young lives.
Barta has been with the Zags for four seasons after graduating from Fairfield High School in Montana in 2014. She has been part of three West Coast Conference Championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. She is the third Zag in program history to be named First Team All-West Coast Conference her first three seasons and this season she was named the WCC Player of the Year, the first Zag to be honored since Taelor Karr in 2013, and the sixth different Zag in history.
Barta is seventh all-time in scoring at Gonzaga at 1,620 points and holds school records in 30-point games with seven and single-game rebounds with 22. She is also third all-time in made free throws with 442.