Gonzalez Twins Announce Departure From Lady Rebels To Begin Music Career|
May 12, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV's Gonzalez twins, Dakota and Dylan, who will be graduating from the University on Saturday morning, announced on Friday they will be starting their professional entertainment career and forfeiting a final year of college eligibility with the UNLV women's basketball team.
The twins, natives of Pocatello, Idaho, spent their freshman season playing for the University of Kansas during the 2013-14 season, before transferring to UNLV in the summer of 2014. They sat out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and then played the past two years for the Lady Rebels. A key component of the team the past two years, this past year saw their biggest impact as they combined for 60 starts and 23.1 points per contest. They helped the Lady Rebels reach the postseason for the first time in six years when UNLV received an at-large bid to the 2017 WNIT, and the team's 22-11 final record tied for the most wins since 2011-12.
While earning their college degree in four years and playing for both the Lady Rebels and the Kansas Jayhawks, the twins also pursued their growing entertainment opportunities allowed to them under NCAA guidelines.
"What's important is that we love and respect the University and that everyone here has shown that love and respect back," said Dakota Gonzalez. "We will always be a part of the Lady Rebel family, and we will always cherish our time at UNLV."
"We would love to continue to play for the Lady Rebels," said Dylan Gonzalez. "But we also wanted to get a start on pursuing this career path for the rest of our lives, and it was going to be impossible to do both."
Dakota Gonzalez finished her basketball career just five points shy of 1,000, as she posted 955, including 437 this past season while averaging 13.2 points per game. She also posted 5.4 rebounds per contest, and was second on the team in both assists (3.2 apg) and steals (1.6 spg), and was the only Lady Rebel to start in all 33 games on the way to earning First Team All-Mountain West honors. Dylan Gonzalez moved into the starting lineup this season after serving as the sixth player a year ago, and posted 9.9 ppg while knocking down 46 three-pointers. She also ranked among the Mountain West leaders in steals per game at 1.8, and her 27 starts was the fourth most on the team, despite missing four games in November with a shoulder injury.
"Dakota and Dylan have brought so much to this program," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "They helped us change the culture with their passion and worth ethic. They are going to be missed on the offensive and defensive end and in the locker room with their leadership. We can't say enough positive things about them, they were great ambassadors of the Lady Rebel program. Our main goal at UNLV is to prepare our players for their future in life, and we are very proud of the fact that both twins graduated on time in four years, that speaks to the dedication they had to their education. I know they are going to be successful in wherever their future takes them."
Despite the departure of the twins, the outlook for next year's squad is high. Four starters return, as guard Nikki Wheatley is expected to earn a medical redshirt after suffering a season-ending injury in December, making the total number of returning letterwinners at 10.