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Sam Haiby announces her return to Nebraska for a fifth year

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LINCOLN — Nebraska women’s basketball will get back a multiyear starter and one of the team’s best guards for a fifth season.

Sam Haiby, who made All-Big Ten teams in each of the past two years, will exercise her additional year of eligibility at NU, she announced on social media Tuesday afternoon. Haiby has played all four of her years at NU, but she gained an extra year thanks to the NCAA’s COVID-related eligibility rules.

“I have been a part of our building process here at Nebraska for four years and it has been an amazing experience,” Haiby said in a statement. “I have had the privilege of learning under great coaches and being a leader alongside a great group of players. I still feel like I have more to accomplish as a player and a leader. I am coming back to Nebraska next season because we believe we can take our program another step further together. I can’t wait to go to work again with this team.”

Haiby went through Senior Day ceremonies on Feb. 27 but was expected to return for a fifth year at the school. She has started 87 games over the past three seasons and played in 117 overall. In earning All-Big Ten honorable mention this season, she averaged 11 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists, moving over to the 2 guard spot as Jaz Shelley took over point guard. One year ago, Haiby was second-team All-Big Ten after averaging 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

Her return solidifies Nebraska’s starting backcourt for next season. Shelley — who will be a junior — Haiby and sophomore-to-be Allison Weidner started for the last three weeks of the season. That trio will comprise one of the Big Ten’s top starting backcourts.

NU needs more bench help, though, after MiCole Cayton entered the transfer portal and Ruby Porter decided to return to Australia to play basketball there. The Huskers have sophomores-to-be Kendall Moriarty and Whitney Brown coming back. Two guards, Trinity Brady and Nailah Dillard, have been on two-year injury reserve.

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