Basallo was the Mustangs' best three-point shooter this season. Matt Lalanne | Mustang News

Following a breakout college debut season, freshman point guard Ayzhiana Basallo will be leaving the Mustangs, bringing her talent and relentless work ethic to San Jose State for the 2018-19 season.

Basallo, a San Francisco native, said she is transferring to be closer to home due to personal reasons.

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere, the small-knit community that Cal Poly gave me and all my coaches who kept working with me and making me a better person overall,” Basallo said. “My teammates are going to forever be my sisters.”

In her first year of collegiate play, Basallo became the first player in program history to earn the Big West Sixth Woman of the Year award. The 5-foot-5-inch Basallo was the Mustangs’ best three-point shooter — draining 41 percent of her three-point attempts. She has been described as an offensive spark from off the bench, a “little silent assassin” and a “gym rat” by her teammates.

“[Basallo] practically lived in the gym,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “She constantly worked on her game. Even on scheduled off days, you could find her in the gym … the sky is the limit for [Basallo].”

“She made that shooting machine work,” junior point guard Dye Stahley said. “It was really encouraging to see her, as a freshman, come in and put all that dedication into what she had.”

Cal Poly entered the season projected to finish sixth in the Big West Conference and exceeded expectations by finishing second in the regular season. As a freshman, Basallo broke into the lineup to add instant offense and a positive presence for the Mustangs.

“She’s always trying to get us hyped, that’s definitely something that’s gonna be missed,” Stahley said.  “She brings so much happiness into the locker room.”

While coming off the bench for 27 of the 29 games this season, Basallo averaged 7.6 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. She averaged a 40.8 field goal percentage and shot 80.5 percent from the free throw line. Basallo scored a career-high 21 points against UC Riverside Jan. 4, when she played a team-high 39 minutes.

Mimnaugh credited Basallo’s great work ethic and creative play making ability. Brian Truong | Mustang News
Mimnaugh credited Basallo’s great work ethic and creative play making ability. Brian Truong | Mustang News

“Of course, I pictured her breaking records here at Cal Poly, but her happiness and well-being are more important to me than any record she may pursue,” Mimnaugh said. “San Jose State is lucky to be acquiring that great work ethic, a creative playmaker and a dynamic scorer.”

Basallo said she believes she will continue to fulfill the same roles as a Spartan.

“I’ll bring the same aspects that I’ve brought to Cal Poly … being a leader, since I’m a point guard, and controlling the game,” Basallo said.

San Jose State competes in the Mountain West Conference at the NCAA Division I FBS level. Basallo will likely have to redshirt the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

“I want to thank all my teammates, the coaching staff and trainers for supporting me with this decision and with my first year of college,” Basallo said. “I probably wouldn’t have made it without any of them. I’m going to miss them tremendously and I hope nothing but success for them.”

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