Elle Tinkle will play another year of basketball at Gonzaga.
“I’m baaaack,” Tinkle told her 1,218 Twitter followers Thursday afternoon, moments after the West Coast Conference approved her medical hardship waiver.
The news wasn’t a shocker – the all-star guard met all the criteria to merit a sixth year of eligibility – but welcome nonetheless.
“I am so far beyond happy for Elle,” coach Lisa Fortier said. “We are so excited to be able to add Elle back to the roster.”
“I can’t wait to get back on the court with her.” Fortier said.
Gonzaga sought the waiver after Tinkle missed all but 10 games last season. Her knee injury in November was the beginning of a star-crossed season for the Bulldogs, who also lost post Emma Wolfram for the season and starting forward Kiara Kudron for most of the WCC schedule.
“It was a major hit to our team and morale having the type of uncontrollable injuries we had last season,” said Fortier, whose team finished 10-8 in the WCC and 19-14 overall.
Now the Bulldogs can look forward to the return of a player who was an all-WCC selection in 2014-15, when GU reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
In 110 games in a GU uniform, including 39 starts, Tinkle has averaged six points and 3.2 rebounds, while shooting nearly 43 percent from the field.
Before the injury, Tinkle averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds last year. The Missoula, Mont. native scored a season-high 15 points against Eastern Washington.
Tinkle said she was grateful for another chance.
“This was obviously a difficult year for me dealing with the injury and not being able to compete with my teammates, but I’m thrilled to know I have another year to play the game I love,” Tinkle said.
“I’m beyond excited and ready to get back to work and prepare for next year,” Tinkle said.
Tinkle, a nursing major, was named honorable mention Academic All-Conference in 2015-16 with a 3.46 GPA.
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