It takes a very special kind of student-athlete to play for UConn Huskies women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

For one, you have to put up with him (I don’t mean this in a bad way at all). Secondly, when you play at UConn, you are under the microscope every day. Some can handle that, some can’t. And it’s not too often that someone leaves the UConn women’s program but unfortunately that’s happening right now.

UConn's Samarie Walker takes a shot over LSU defender Swayze Black during the second half of the Huskies' 81-51 win in the final game of the World Vision Challenge at Gamepl Pavilion on Nov. 28, 2010.After not practicing for two days, Auriemma gathered his troops together and informed them that freshman Samarie Walker has decided to leave the UConn women’s basketball family. She has decided to transfer. Should she transfer and want to play basketball at the Division I level, she will have to sit out a year.

Here’s the release from the UConn:

STORRS, Conn. – Freshman forward Samarie Walker has informed head women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma of her intention to transfer from the University of Connecticut.

The coaching staff has known for quite some time that Samarie is struggling with her commitment level to basketball,” Auriemma said. “We have attempted to work with her and help her through this. I wish Samarie all the best in her future endeavors.”

I want to thank Coach Auriemma for the opportunity to be here but right now I can’t give the team the energy and commitment that it needs to be successful. I need to go and figure out what my future holds,” Walker said. “I have struggled with this for some time and remaining here would not be fair to my teammates or the coaching staff.”

Walker played in seventeen games for UConn and saw one starting assignment. She averaged 6.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game.

Photo credit: Richard Messina – Hartford Courant