Duke women's basketball forward Lyneé Belton retiring due to health problems
One of Duke's reserve wings will transfer this offseason, and the Blue Devils will now also have to replace one of their backup post players.
Redshirt sophomore Lyneé Belton will retire following her seventh surgery this summer, she announced on Instagram Wednesday evening. The former McDonald's All-American was never able to break into Duke's rotation in the frontcourt after tearing her ACL in December 2014, tearing her meniscus in February 2016 and suffering another knee injury in March before the Blue Devils' NCAA tournament second-round loss to Oregon.
After much thought and considering that after this summer that I will have undergone seven surgeries it has been decided that I will not continue to play basketball. It saddens my heart but making this choice I'm sure my body will heal the way it needs to and will thank me in the long run. Although this is a scary feeling, I am excited to see where God takes me with the guidance through his hands. It's been a good run Duke and thanks for everything you have given me. Jeremiah 29:11
A 6-foot-4 post player from Clinton, Md., Belton was known for her soft hands and quick feet down low as an imposing presence on both ends of the court coming out of high school.
But her health problems and a crowded frontcourt prevented Belton from getting many minutes even when she did get on the court—she averaged 2.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 20 games in 2015-16 before posting 1.6 points and 1.7 rebounds per game as a redshirt sophomore this past year.
One of Belton's highlights came in Duke's 2016-17 season opener at Liberty when she posted a career-high 12 points in 19 minutes.
With senior post players Kendall Cooper and Oderah Chidom graduating, the Blue Devils will have plenty of minutes up for grabs down low next season with versatile freshman Leaonna Odom and junior Erin Mathias returning.
Head coach Joanne P. McCallie's program is also bringing in five-star post player Jade Williams and four-star forward Madison Treece as part of another stellar recruiting class as Duke looks to get to its first Final Four in the McCallie era led by first-team All-ACC guards Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell.