Averaging 15.1 points per game and scoring 837 points over two seasons, senior guard Mikayla Venson led the University of Virginia Cavaliers as a sophomore.
This season, the Hoyas welcome Venson to the Hilltop. After a year of sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules, Venson will finally wear number 15 for the Georgetown women’s basketball team.
Venson had a successful career with the Cavaliers and quickly became a leading force on the team. She was a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team in 2015. Now, joining the Hoyas as a senior, Venson brings her experience and intensity to the team.
“Her experience of playing at a high level like in the ACC, we’re hoping that experience will help our guards and help our team in knowing each and every day how to prepare and be ready to go,” Head Coach James Howard said. “If she can bring that side of it and can help us get across that little fine edge of knowing when you’re playing top teams like DePaul, when you’re playing the Marquettes, the Creightons and the Villanovas of the world, how you prepare mentally to be ready from the start.”
At UVA, Venson was known for her sharp-shooting, especially from beyond the arc. In her sophomore year, Venson set the program’s single-season three-point record with 70, ranking No. 9 on the team’s all-time three-point scoring list. In addition, Venson led the ACC by shooting 87.4 percent from the free-throw line.
Despite her impressive run with the Cavaliers, Venson decided to transfer after her sophomore year. She graduated in 2014 from Yorktown High School, less than six miles away from the Hilltop, and being closer to home was an important factor for Venson in making her decision to transfer.
“I chose to come to Georgetown just because of the family atmosphere, I’m huge on that,” Venson said. “And it’s close to home; I wanted to be back home, I missed it. I missed being in the city, of course. And as soon as I met everybody on the team, I loved it here, and it felt like family.”
Though it is her first season with the Hoyas, Venson will join seniors guard DiDi Burton, forward Cynthia Petke, center Yazmine Belk and guard Dorothy Adomako as leaders of the team, roles essential for making postseason play for the past three years.
The Hoyas will also need to compete offensively with teams in the Big East, such as Marquette and DePaul, which are ranked No. 17 and No. 25 respectively in the AP Top 25 preseason poll.
The Hoyas hope that Venson can open up offensive opportunities for players like Adomako and junior guard Dionna White. White led the team with an average of 15.2 points per game and Adomako ranked second in scoring on the team with 14.8 points per game.
“She opens up the offense a lot,” Howard said. “It will create more driving lanes because of her ability to drive the basketball.”
Additionally, Howard has been stressing the importance of a strong defense in winning games. During her year off, Venson got a feel for her new team’s style of play.
“We love to push the pace. As soon as we get the rebound everybody is ready to get out and run,” Venson said. “Coach Howard is emphasizing defense a lot, so we’re going to be keying in on that. We’re excited to get some stops and be able to push it out easily.”
Though her exact place in the lineup is uncertain, Venson is ready to contribute in any way she can.
“Expect a lot of energy out of me, and talking and impacting the team as much as I need and as much as the team needs me to,” Venson said.
(Photo: Georgetown Athletic Department)