Maya Dodson opts out of potential basketball season

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In a Twitter announcement on Monday morning, senior forward Maya Dodson announced her intention to opt out of the 2020-21 season.

Dodson was a five-star recruit ranked 11th by ESPN HoopGurlz in the fifth-ranked 2017 Stanford recruiting class. Senior point guard Kiana Williams was ranked three spots ahead of her.

Dodson did not specify in her message whether she would pursue a professional career, but she certainly has the credentials. The Athletic included her as the 23rd most intriguing college basketball players for the 2020-21 season. Dodson would also have the option to retain her year of eligibility with Stanford or use it elsewhere as a graduate transfer, as DiJonai Carrington did in heading to Baylor.

Her time on the court at Stanford was limited due to a left-foot injury that caused her to miss 10 games during her sophomore campaign and the first 24 of her junior season. In her junior year debut, she was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field in nine minutes off the bench. Of the remaining eight games, Dodson started seven as Stanford reached the finals of the Pac-12 tournament.

Over the summer, Dodson spoke to The Daily about her workouts in her hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia, and the potential for a collegiate season. 

Hall of Fame head coach Tara VanDerveer added wing Agnes-Emma Nnopu from Victoria, Australia, five-star point guard Jana Van Gytenbeek, and five-star forward Cameron Brink to the roster this year. Positionally, Brink will be most impacted by Dodson’s decision, but the ripple effects will be felt throughout the team.

In the 2019-20 season, the compounding injuries of Carrington, sophomore point guard Haley Jones, and Dodson meant Stanford was without its best starting five for much of the season. There is no doubt that the best lineup last year included Dodson, and this year she would have as well.

Forward Alyssa Jerome has the potential to reclaim the starting role she had for many games last season while Dodson was out. The development of sophomore forward Fran Belibi and Ashten Prechtel will also become more important, as both former five-stars excelled at times and struggled during others in their first year.

In the message, Dodson noted the “vast uncertainty, be it of college sports, the gravity of the pandemic, or the complicated political and social justice climates.”

Dodson participated in a roundtable podcast of Stanford athletes on racial injustice with teammate junior Jenna Brown, junior defensive end Thomas Booker and Ryan Walker-Hartshorn ’17, who was on the women’s soccer team from 2013-16. Dodson also edited the debut video for CardinalBLCK, “A newly created space for Black Stanford student-athletes to promote social justice, highlight and engage in our community, create lasting change at Stanford and beyond, and much more.”

Stanford does not have a schedule or a start date for the upcoming season.

After the graduate transfer of senior Estella Moschkau to Wisconsin, Stanford will retain half of the original four members of the 2017 recruiting class in Williams and Jerome. The leadership will be bolstered by point guard Anna Wilson, who appealed to the NCAA for a fifth year after missing most of her freshman year due to the lingering effects of a concussion sustained the summer before.

“As a senior, I will take leadership in stride and support them in any way I can from a far,” Dodson wrote.

Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Daniel Martinez-Krams '22 is a staff writer in the sports section covering football, women's soccer, women's basketball and baseball. He is originally from Berkeley, California. Contact him at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.