Pacific women's basketball announced the addition of a highly touted transfer today in former Louisville center Loretta Kakala.
Kakala was a five-star recruit out of Manteca High School as well as a McDonald's All-American selection. The 6'3 versatile post player was ranked as the No. 25 player in her recruiting class and the No. 2 player at her position. Kakala will join the Tigers as a sophomore and is eligible to play in the 2019-20 season.
"Honestly, it feels as though Loretta is coming home. Her accolades speak for themselves, but because we've known Loretta since her high school days, her addition to the team will truly be like a homecoming of sorts," Pacific head coach Bradley Davis said. "This is exciting for our program. We feel as though we've continued to build and strengthen Pacific Women's Basketball over the past few years, and the addition of Loretta is another great addition to our Pacific family that should have our fans excited for the present and future."
Last season, Kakala appeared in the first four games of the season for Louisville before redshirting. She played a season-high 16 minutes against Murray State with six points and four rebounds. She pulled down a season-high five boards against Toledo. Despite redshirting early in the season, Kakala was there for every step of Louisville's Final Four run last season, an experience that could prove to be invaluable going forward for her as well as the Tigers.
Kakala cited an urge to return home as her reason for leaving the Cardinals and thanked her former program and coaches for the opportunity to play at Louisville in a post on social media.
"Obviously, Loretta was recruited to Louisville with the future in mind. While I'm sure they didn't want to see her go, I know from our communication, coach Walz was remarkably helpful and supportive of Loretta in her desire to be closer to family and home, and doing what she felt was best for her at this time," Davis added.
Kakala put together the best career in Manteca High School history before leaving for Louisville. She was the school's first McDonald's All-American as well as an All-State selection. As a senior, she averaged a double-double with 15.6 points, 12 rebounds as well as two blocks. As a junior, she averaged 16 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Kakala originally chose Louisville over programs such as Washington, UCLA, Cal, Arizona State, Georgia Tech and Utah following the completion of her senior season at Manteca High School.