Updated: Livingston leaving Illinois women's basketball
New Golden State guard Shaun Livingston isn’t the only member of his family heading west.
Livingston, who signed a three-year, $16 million deal Monday to leave the Brooklyn Nets and join the Warriors, said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News that younger sister Sarah, who played for the Illinois women’s basketball team last season as a freshman, had signed with Southern California to play volleyball.
Illinois head coach Matt Bollant said Livingston informed the coaching staff she would be transferring before summer school started.
"She came in with her mom and said, 'I played both in high school and thought I could just do basketball,' " Bollant said. "I talked to her today (Tuesday), and she's out there starting summer school and excited about playing volleyball."
Livingston, a Morton grad, had an offer out of high school to play volleyball at USC after breaking the Potters’ record for career aces and finishing second in career kills.
But Livingston chose basketball and Illinois, appearing in 28 games with five starts as a freshman. The 6-foot-2 forward scored 3.3 points and pulled down 2.6 rebounds while averaging just more than 14 minutes per game in Bollant’s deep rotation.
Bollant said he wasn't sure if potential playing time this upcoming season could have been a factor in Livingston's decision to transfer. Incoming freshman Chatrice White, a 6-3 McDonald's All-American, certainly plays into the Illini's plans.
"With Chatrice coming in and (6-3 sophomore Jacqui Grant), Sarah wasn't beating out either one of those players," Bollant said. "Our depth as far as the post will be a little bit smaller, but we'll be fine."
Livingston's open scholarship will be used immediately, going to incoming Ball State transfer Brittany Carter. Carter graduated from Ball State in June in just three years, and the 5-10 St. Louis native guard will be eligible to play right away.
Carter averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and a team-high 1.8 steals per game last season for Ball State. Her scoring and rebounding totals had her ranked second and third, respectively, for the Cardinals.
Illinois finished the 2013-14 season with a 9-21 record and a 2-14 mark in Big Ten play. Livingston would have been one of 12 possible returning players in addition to Carter, White and two other incoming freshman this season for Bollant, as just guard Amber Moore graduated.
The USC volleyball team finished last season 29-6 and 16-4 in the Pac-12. The Trojans advanced to a NCAA Regional Championship match before falling in five sets to conference rival Washington. Livingston will join an incoming class at USC ranked No. 2 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com.