MOORHEAD — Minnesota State Moorhead all-conference guard Kiley Borowicz has decided to leave the Dragons women's basketball program for health reasons.
Borowicz said she's had arthritis since she was less than a year old.
"It was very hard (decision) for how much work I put into it," Borowicz said. "I have had arthritis since I was nine months old. ... I just couldn't do it anymore and I finally realized I had to look out for my future body."
The 5-foot-8 Borowicz averaged 13.9 points per game last season, helping the Dragons finish with a 27-7 record. She was second on the team in scoring. Borowicz would have been a junior for the upcoming season.
"I think she got to the point she just had enough physically," Dragons head coach Karla Nelson said. "I think it's a good decision for her."
The Dragons advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament last March. Borowicz was expected to be one of the key returning players for the Dragons, who also added North Dakota State transfer Sarah Jacobson in the offseason.
"I'm honestly going to miss the girls the most," Borowicz said. "That was the hardest decision."
Borowicz was a first-team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selection last season.
"I think the silver lining was it didn't happen in October so we have plenty of time to adjust with life without her," Nelson said. "We anticipate other people stepping up, but certainly it is a void. ... We also want Kiley to feel better."
Borowicz had a career-high 37 points for the Dragons against Augustana last January, setting the school record for most 3-pointers made in a game with nine. She also averaged 5.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore and led the team with 1.6 steals per game.
"It made me not happy to play the sport due to how much pain I've been in," Borowicz said. "I did not want to make it worse."
Borowicz scored more than 3,200 points during her prep career at Roseau (Minn.) High School. She was a Minnesota Miss Basketball finalist during her senior season with the Rams, averaging 25.9 points per game.
Borowicz played in 62 games, making 34 starts, during her career with the Dragons. She averaged 11.0 points and 4.3 rebounds over two seasons at MSUM.
"I'm thankful for all the support I've had and I'll be cheering on the Dragons," Borowicz said.