Blue Demons add Michigan transfer to their roster


DePaul women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno added a transfer from Michigan, Deja Church, on Tuesday to the 2019-2020 roster. (DePaulia File)

DePaul women’s basketball announced on Tuesday that the program has signed Michigan transfer guard Deja Church, a move that fills a big gap on the roster following the departure of four seniors this spring.  

Church is a 5-foot-10-inch guard from Southfield, Michigan who played two seasons for the Michigan Wolverines and led them to the NCAA Second Round this March. Under NCAA transfer rules, Church will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining at the start of the 2020-2021 season.

As a sophomore in 2018-2019, Church’s game took a leap forward. She started all 34 games for Michigan and averaged 8.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Church scored a career-high of 19 points twice, the first time on Dec. 21 against Southern University before later matching that scoring total on Feb. 1 versus Iowa.

A highly-touted prospect coming out of Southfield AT&T in 2017, Church was a two-time All-State selection and finalist for Michigan Miss Basketball after averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.1 steals per contest as a senior.

Accordingly, Church was nominated for McDonald’s All-American Game and finished her high school career ranked as the No. 67 recruit in the nation by Prospects Nation after totaling over 1,000 career points and 450 career rebounds.

“Deja Church is a player who comes to us with two years of Big Ten experience, having been a starter as a sophomore at Michigan,” DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said. “The way Deja approaches the game will blend in well with our DePaul-Ball style of play. Deja also rebounds well from her position.”

Church earned her first varsity letter as a freshman at Michigan during the 2017-2018 season, appearing in 33 games while making four starts. Church averaged 7.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 21.9 minutes per game en route to helping Michigan earn its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013.

DePaul recruited Church when she was in high school. Her other final college choices at the time were Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Minnesota.

“She is a player we had recruited long and hard out of high school and as a member of the Michigan Crossover travel program,” Bruno said. “As a result, we are familiar with her high degree of competitiveness and her dynamic all-around game.”