By JUDAH NEWBY | 750 The Game
Kelly Graves is officially in re-tool mode at Oregon.
The Ducks women’s basketball program saw another key starter decide to leave Eugene, as sophomore guard Te-Hina Paopao entered the transfer portal on Monday.
Paopao is the second starting guard to leave Oregon this offseason. Junior Endiya Rogers decided to forgo her remaining eligibility and enter the 2023 WNBA Draft. Rogers led the Ducks in points per game (15.9) and assists per game (3.9). Paopao contributed 13.1 points per game, a career-high 4.2 rebounds a game and 3.3 assists a game. She has two years eligibility remaining.
Paopao was the lone remaining member of Graves highly-touted 2020 recruiting class, with fellow class members Angela Dugalic, Kylee Watson, Sydney Parrish, and Maddie Scherr having transferred over prior off-seasons.
Graves did add a new name to the roster on Tuesday, officially announcing Lane Community College standout Bella Hamel to the program.
Hamel is a native of Hillsboro, Ore., and starred at Liberty High School.
She was the NWAC Player of the Year in 2022-23, averaging 18.3 points and 12.3 rebounds a game.
She played and started in 73 career games while at Lane.
Graves gave a strong review of Hamel’s addition in the University of Oregon press release.
“We are so excited to add Bella to our team,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said in a statement. “She is a versatile guard who can shoot, rebound and create for her teammates. She brings a tireless work ethic and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Bella is a great teammate, leader and knows what it means to be a Duck. Bottom line, the kid’s a winner. She’s won everywhere she’s been and played at an exceptionally high level. That, along with her toughness and grit, make her a great addition to our team and we can’t wait to see what she can do.”
Oregon is coming off a 20-15 season that included a 7-11 mark in conference play. They lost in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals to top-seed Stanford, and though on the bubble, were not selected as an at-large to the NCAA Tournament. They went to the NIT and home victories over North Dakota State, Rice, and San Diego, before bowing out in the “Great 8” round to conference rival Washington in Seattle.