Women’s basketball: Gophers point guard Katie Borowicz retiring from basketball

The Roseau point guard left high school early to join the U of M, only to to miss her second season after surgery to relieve pressure in her brain. She came back to play this season.

Katie Borowicz, a guard with the University of Minnesota basketball team, announced Wednesday, March 22, 2023, that she is retiring from basketball. The Roseau point guard left high school early to join Gophers, only to miss her second season after surgery to relieve pressure in her brain. She came back to play this past season.
Renee Jones Schneider / TNS file photo

MINNEAPOLIS -- Katie Borowicz, the Roseau point guard who left high school early to join the University of Minnesota basketball team only to miss her second season after surgery to relieve pressure in her brain, is retiring from basketball.

A 5-foot-7 sophomore whose ball-handling skills made her an uncommon threat when driving to the rim, made the announcement on her Twitter account Wednesday morning. She called the decision “the most difficult and painful one I’ve ever had to make.”

As a redshirt freshman this season, Borowicz averaged 8.5 points and 3.0 assists a game and shot 37 percent from 3-point range for the Gophers (11-19, 4-14). She missed all of last season after surgery to repair an injury to the back of her skull that was putting pressure on her spine, ultimately causing nerve damage that resulted in tingling, numbness and weakness in her legs.

“When I play,” she wrote Wednesday, “it only gets worse and I’ve come to associate basketball with pain. I have been struggling for the past year to push through and put a smile on my face, but my body is telling me enough.”

Katie Borowicz

At Big Ten media days last October, Borowicz explained that doctors alleviated the issue to the point where she could begin practicing without contact in February 2022 and that she had full clearance to play this season.


But Borowicz acknowledged the issue hadn’t been completely resolved. She averaged 24.1 minutes a game this season, but clearly at a cost. She was not immediately available for an interview Wednesday.

“It’s hard not to feel like I’m disappointing people, especially myself,” she wrote. “But I appreciate the love and support everyone has shown me. That being said, I hope to receive respect and space during this difficult time.”

Borowicz was a four-star recruit (ESPN) and the 19th-ranked point guard in the country when Lindsay Whalen recruited her out of Roseau. She joined the team in January 2021 and played the rest of the season before missing 2021-22 after surgery.

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On March 1, Whalen officially stepped down after five years as the Gophers’ coach and on Monday the university introduced Dawn Plitzuweit as her successor.

Borowicz’s classmate Alanna Rose Micheaux, the Gophers’ leading rebounder (8.0 a game) and second-leading scorer (13.8) announced last week she is entering the NCAA transfer portal.

“We cannot thank @katieborowicz, our 2022-23 captain, enough for her blood, sweat and tears she poured into our program. Once a Gopher, always a Gopher,” the program tweeted Wednesday.



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