The Colorado women’s basketball team will play next season without one of its top post players.
CU head coach JR Payne told BuffZone.com that sophomore Charlotte Whittaker will miss the 2021-22 season because of upcoming surgeries on her hips.
The 6-foot-3 Whittaker, from New Zealand, played through pain this past season, but has some genetic issues with both of her hips and will opt to get surgery.
“Charlotte is someone that’s going to have a great pro career, she’ll play for her national team, she’ll do all of those things for a long time, so it’s really quite a blessing that we can have it done here, where our insurance can take care of it,” Payne said. “The doctor that’s doing the surgery is like a world-renowned hip specialist, so she’s gonna be great.
“Kinda like Jaylyn (Sherrod, who had hip surgery in January), it’ll be exciting to see how she can perform with less pain.”
Payne said Whittaker will have surgery on one hip this week and then surgery on the other hip in six months. The total recovery will take about a year and she will have two more seasons to play at CU beginning in 2022-23.
Whittaker was a key player off the bench for the Buffs (12-11, 8-8 Pac-12) this season, averaging 5.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. She finished strong in the Women’s NIT, averaging 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in the last two games.
In two seasons at CU, Whittaker has played in 50 games, averaging 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds.
While Whittaker won’t play next season, the Buffs are hoping Maura Singer will be available. A 6-foot-4 center from Columbine High School, Singer has missed each the last two seasons because of knee injuries, but Payne is hopeful Singer can play next season.
Singer has not been cleared for running or change-of-direction drills yet but is expected to be soon.
“She’s doing really well, has rehabbed very well, so it’s just going to be sort of a try and see,” Payne said.
On Saturday, senior Mya Hollingshed was named honorable mention All-America by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
Hollingshed, who announced Friday she will return to CU for the 2021-22 season, was first-team All-Pac-12 this season. She averaged 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Buffs.