Ashley Owusu is ready to play basketball again.

After starting her college career at Maryland, where she became one of the best guards in the country, she transferred to Virginia Tech ahead of the 2022-23 season. While her tenure with the Hokies started strong, a broken pinkie derailed it. After the injury, her minutes decreased, and she did not play at all in the postseason.

The tension came to a head during the Hokies’ Final Four run. During the national semifinal, Owusu left the bench, which resulted in infighting with her teammates. Following the season, she entered the transfer portal once again, and now she finds herself starting again at Penn State.

“Obviously getting hurt was unfortunate,” Owusu told The Daily Collegian, “but kind of looking forward to playing here, being able to be around new people.”

While Owusu was recruited by the Nittany Lions her first time in the portal, it didn’t work out. This time, assistant coach Terri Williams – whose brother Boo Williams coached Owusu in her youth career – managed to secure the commitment. Owusu credited the familiar face as a “very important” factor in her decision.

And Owusu’s Penn State teammates already are excited about what the three-time All-Big Ten selection brings to the squad. Makenna Marisa, who has “always been a fan of her game” and wanted to play with Owusu, said as much.

“She makes her teammates around her better, and she’s an unselfish player,” Marisa said. “She’s a hooper.”

And while Owusu is ready to fit into whatever role is needed, Penn State is ready to help her thrive.

“Ashley’s going to have freedom to play, and she didn’t get that at Virginia Tech,” Williams said. “She’s going to have freedom to flourish and be the player and the playmaker that she is, here, at Penn State.”

Ashley Owusu has found a new home with Penn State women’s basketball, the Nittany Lions announced Thursday night.

This marks Owusu’s second transfer in two seasons. The 6-0 guard transferred to Virginia Tech from Maryland last offseason, but her season with the Hokies soured after she injured her pinkie finger in December. While she started the first seven games of the season, she played sparingly after she made her return from injury in January, and she did not play at all in the postseason.

After a social media spat with her Virginia Tech teammates during the Hokies’ Final Four loss, Owusu re-entered the transfer portal. She has one year of COVID-19 eligibility remaining.

Despite her winding road to Virginia Tech, she brings top-tier skills with her to Penn State. In three seasons at Maryland, Owusu was named All-Big Ten three times and was the recipient of the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, recognizing the best shooting guard in women’s college basketball.

Across all four seasons of her career, she has averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.

“We are thrilled to add Ashley to our Penn State family,” Penn State head coach Carolyn Kieger said in a statement. “She is a game-changing player who has excelled at the highest level, especially in the Big Ten Conference.”

When choosing her transfer destination, Owusu found herself impressed by the Nittany Lions’ team atmosphere.

“I chose Penn State because of how welcoming and genuine the coaches and girls were,” she said in a statement. “I wanted to be around people that have the same goals as me, and I know that my teammates and I are going to accomplish big things this season.”