Lady Dawg will Move On

ATHENS -- Marquita Driskell's Georgia basketball career is over, and she has returned to her home in Milledgeville with plans to "be a student and be average," she said Thursday.

Driskell was redshirting this season, her second with the Lady Bulldogs, because of a still unidentified heart condition. She did not rejoin the team after the Christmas holiday but said her decision was based only partly on health.

"It was for a lot of reasons," she said, declining to elaborate. "I just need time to get myself together."

Driskell said she plans to enroll at Georgia College "as soon as possible" but has no immediate plans to play basketball there. She will not return to the Lady Bulldogs, she said.

"I think she just wanted to get back closer to home," Coach Andy Landers said. "Did her health have something to do with that? I'd have to be inside her head to know that."

Landers and Driskell both said it was entirely Driskell's decision to leave. Landers said he felt Driskell was close to being cleared to return to the court.

"He wanted me to play, but it wasn't about the coaches or the team," Driskell said. "It was something I did for myself."

Driskell has had a series of medical tests, including some at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, to determine why she suffered heart problems and a fainting spell that forced her to sit out last year's SEC Tournament.

She joined the Lady Bulldogs in 2002 after a standout career playing for Anderson Bentley Jr. at Baldwin County High School. Driskell was a three-time first-team All-Middle Georgia player and averaged 17 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals as a senior. She was the Class AAAAA state player of the year as a junior and senior and was rated the nation's 26th overall prospect by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report.

She played in 30 games as a freshman and averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. Despite the premature end to her career, she said she's happy she came to Georgia.

"I wouldn't trade it," she said.

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