Virginia Tech Center Clara Strack Enters Transfer Portal

Virginia Tech center Clara Strack is in the transfer portal. (Ivan Morozov)

One day after All-American point guard Georgia Amoore entered the transfer portal, Virginia Tech center Clara Strack followed suit on Tuesday.

Like Amoore, Strack has a “do not contact” tag, per Mitchell Northam of The Next, meaning schools can only communicate with her if she initiates things. Both are expected to join former coach Kenny Brooks at Kentucky. He was named head coach of the Wildcats on Tuesday, March 26.

A 6-foot-5 freshman from Buffalo, N.Y., Strack was the No. 95 overall recruit in ESPN’s 2023 HoopGurlz recruiting rankings. She averaged 4.5 points and 4.1 rebounds this season while playing both the power forward and center positions. In many situations, she was primarily the backup for All-American center Elizabeth Kitley.

After Kitley suffered a season-ending injury on March 3 at Virginia, Strack took on a larger role. Over the next four games, she averaged 12.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 57 percent (20-of-35). She had back-to-back double-figure outings in the NCAA Tournament against Marshall (17 points) and Baylor (18), the latter of which was her first career double-double with 10 boards.

Tech guard Samyha Suffren also entered the portal previously, and Gabby Brooks is expected to play for her father at Kentucky. As it stands, the Hokies have nine scholarship players for 2024-25, meaning six scholarships are open.

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  1. You can thank the NCAA for the transfer portal rules. Use to be a 1 year sit out wait. They changed that in 2021. Now you are supposed to receive a waiver for your 2nd transfer or sit out 1 year. Well it appears that doesn’t matter either. It totally ruins the fan experience. Last time I checked my season ticket came out of my checking account. When do the fans matter?

    1. Oh, and to the players during post game interviews! Stop thanking the fans if you do not have true loyalty to the school that gave you the opportunity to play!

      1. I guess we were foolish to think they loved us. I feel like my crush is going to prom with someone else. It’s one thing for them to say no- not going with you. It is something quite different when you find they are going with the creepiest guy at school instead. Devastating- and it says a lot that they don’t look back to see us in a heap on the floor.

    2. I simply don’t pay for college sports anymore. Will occasionally watch on TV and follow results, but I can’t financially donate to the semi-pro environment that it is now. Especially with my eldest child now about to go to college and fork out thousands of dollars for a heavily inflated tuition. Seeing coaches make millions and now athletes making thousands off games really puts things in perspective for Joe Average like myself.

      1. I took my daughter to our first VT WBB game last year for Valentines. I simply loved watching how the girls compete. This portal thing is really deflating. I work with Mike Youngs brother and he tells me what a nightmare it is for coaches. The NCAA owns all this! really sad!

        1. You can blame the supreme court for NIL, and only the Supreme Court. For fans, coaches, and supporters, NIL is yet another government built road to hell, paved with good intentions. The NCAA cannot regulate NIL. NCAA sports are now essentially professional with big time perks and worst of all, maybe the only professional sport organization with unregulated free agency and no collective bargaining agreement.

  2. Shocked totally shocked that there is gambling going on at Rick’s!!!

    If 2 players remain with Kenny leaving I will be shocked. I now have 2 worthless season tickets to women’s hoops.

    This Sucks!!!

    1. I’d wait a bit before trashing those tickets. A quality hire will be expected to bring in their own roster. A basketball rebuild doesn’t take very long if you get the hire right.

      If we’re expecting the change to be a massive drop off then it becomes more revealing about our opinion of the program quality anyway.

      1. At this point, you simply have to expect a massive drop-off! We don’t have anything to replace Kitley and Amoore. Losing Strack, who wasn’t going to replicate Kitley, but would be a solid performer, is another blow. The remnants of this team are now going to compete to likely finish somewhere in the middle of the ACC, or lower. Yes, perhaps a new coach will come in with some good players, but, the clock is ticking and the exodus continuing. I think this will be much like after Buzz left the MBB team.

      2. OH I have my tickets for next year and plan to be in attendance for 4-6 games at least. I just hope the team will be competitive and make me hopeful.

        My above is my current feeling of losing a great Coach and what usually happens when the Coach leaves. All the players jump ship, dig for scraps in the portal, lose the incoming class possibly saving a few.

        Beamer retired and not a surprise, Kenny leaving was like out of the Blue and a slap in the face. I will hope for the best, but I fear the next 3 years are iffy. I would like to be wrong.
        Still Sucks!!!

    2. Between the NIL snd portal, college athletics is now corporate raiding rolled into an MLB model where every player is a free agent every year

      1. And, much like the NY Yankees, LA Dodgers, big-revenue teams, it will be the blue-bloods and upper-echelon schools that continue to succeed in this semi-pro environment. Schools like VT simply will not compete in NIL vs others.

  3. Won’t be watching ACC womens basketball for a while unless the new coach brings a ton of talent with him/her. KB just keeps on moving up on my blacklist.

    1. Bingo! We should expect our new HC to bring in his/her own talent. The better the coach the better the talent they will bring with them. ADs are no longer hiring Xs and Os, they’re hiring talent acquisition.

  4. Was there no article about Georgia entering the portal? I don’t check TSL every day but I don’t see it in the list of recent articles.

  5. Sorry to see Clara Strack leave – I think she can be a real star.
    We can still be ok if Whit hires a good coach – and soon.

  6. It is fine for Brooks to leave. If he takes all the players with him, he will forever get the one finger salute from me.

    1. AD Babcock, we need , a head coach, ASAP, to stop the bleeding. KB is getting richer @ UK, he has no morals…….the HOKIE NATION, elevated him.

  7. Just a reminder of how cutthroat college athletics are. Brooks gave VT almost a decade, went further back with Whit, and I think even the AD was surprised he left.

    I’m not surprised to see transfers, especially from those who know they have great options. The alternative is a Virginia Tech team with no signs of coach and half a roster. The “no contact” tags are an interesting story, I’d think you’d want some apperance of professionalism even when they land at Kentucky.

    1. There is an old saying in employment, specifically with management….if ever you are surprised or caught off-guard by one of your employees leaving, then likely you were a part of the problem. Not knowing your employee’s desires, goals, inability to foster their growth, etc., is a failure of management. If anyone in the VT AD was surprised at KB leaving, then it must be seen as an administration failure. There is always the off-chance that KB did indeed keep this close to the chest and didn’t show any of his cards to the AD, and if that’s the case, he truly did leave VT in the lurch and deserves much less respect.

  8. I might be very wrong but I think KB coaches his daughter through college and then retires back in Virginia counting his money. I’m sure we all would like a big payday before retirement, why would he be anything less? Unfortunate he’s taking our talent with him but none of us should be surprised.

    1. As with any profession, how much is enough money? He signed a three-year extension last year amounting to $6.4 million. I don’t know. I’m a simple guy. Give me a million bucks and I would retire today and live comfortably for the rest of my life.

      1. Hey, apparently money is everything to some people, most notably KB.
        I personally believe that there are things way more important than money, provided you have enough.

        1. I recall some saying some people measure the degree of their success by the amount of money they are paid.

  9. Darn it, that’s the one I wanted the most, something you can build around of course, that’s what Kenny is thinking too.

    I will say this, Even Buzz didn’t take current players, just the recruits who hadn’t played a game. Likewise, Mike Young did not either, that is Cattoor had not played for Wofford. Yes, Aluma was a current player but only after MY had left him behind and he wrote a letter to MY to take him. Maybe that’s a subterfuge, I dunno but it implies that MY didn’t not whisper in his ear. Bottom line, this is not done. LIncoln Riley caught a lot of flack for taking Caleb Williams with him to USC. But yeah, Strack is the player Kenny wanted the most.

    1. A lot has changed since in college athletics since Buzz left VT (or CMY Wofford). I agree taking current players used to be frowned upon but, again, it’s a new world.

      I don’t like it but CKB isn’t breaking any coaching code … athletes do what’s best for them now. Just as coaches have for eternity.

      Honestly, I am not sure I will adjust, as a fan, to the new world. Instead I find myself following more non-rev sports and less major college athletics. Pros seem more acceptable to me.


      1. Got my say in, I guess. And yeah, I’m having dark thoughts about college sports. I’ve always thought the big money stuff was perverse but used a little cognitive dissonance logic: “because I like it anyway” Now, I don’t like it anyway. I’ve always been a good sport, been to a few Dunkenberger games in the day (hey, maybe she would come back for the VT job I said with a sick sense of humor) Anyway, back to the only team I should root for being my senior men’s tennis league and send my dollars to no-kill animal shelters.

  10. Can we move on from Brooks? He proved himself to be a used car salesman with the smooth talk and very little coaching expertise. Whit bears much of the blame because Brooks was his buddy and was beaten like a “rented mule” on the contract execution. Babcock had to give Kentucky permission to talk to Brooks before the season ended. If not, where is the legal action against KY and Brooks.
    Too much credit was given to Brooks for the girls’s success. As Coach K says, “good players make good coaches”. Any average coach could have won more games given VT’s talent over the past two years.
    The aggressive style of play will leave Brooks and KY gasping for air in the lower echelon of the SEC. No worries, Brooks will take his money and run.

      1. Name your reasons. Give us the benefit of your wisdom. FYI, I walked on in Basketball and Baseball at VT and am a Scholarship Donor; therefore , I hold Coaches to a higher standard than Brooks is capable of understanding.

  11. Absolutely sucks. If Brooks wanted to leave for more money, fine, see you later. But, to then poach these players and leave Tech’s cupboard empty feels like twisting the knife in the back. I hope Kentucky stinks and gets blown out by the likes of USC, LSU, etc.

      1. Ahh yes, the awesome talent he brought from the juggernaut Wofford that allowed us to compete at a top-tier level. Sorry…I forgot about that.

        1. Like winning the ACC? Without the players “poached” from Wofford we don’t have that banner

    1. I don’t like UK, anyway so it’s very easy to hope they lose lots and lots of games, and he’s run out of Lexington in 3 years.

  12. Will hate to see both Amoore and Strack become Wildcats, but my guess is Brooks had those two in his back pocket so to speak before ever officially announcing his move to UK. So sorry to see both go but wishing them only the best wherever they decide to transfer.

    1. I guess there will be more, but I could see a scenario where he’s done. He can probably portal another catch-and-shoot player w/several years remaining, so he doesn’t really need Ekh. and probably has a few keepers at KY. He’s got what he needs from VT.

  13. Not surprising at all….however, I am getting sick over all the bad Hokie hoops news over the last week-plus. I’m hoping for good news soon so we can get behind the new WBB coach and start looking forward. GO HOKIES!

    1. Same here. No one wanting to stay. I know, I know, that’s college athletics now, but it absolutely stinks to be a fan now. The goodbye posts by the players and coaches really don’t mean much when they leave this way.

      1. In what “way” are they leaving? All of them are doing what appears to be best for themselves, their careers or the families. The WBB program specifically has had excellent student athletes (and a solid coach) that spent 4-5 years at VT. The 2 athletes to enter the portal have handled it correctly.

        I do agree Brooks could have handled the situation better but I don’t know how VT (WB) handled him either.

        Let’s take time to be grateful for a truly epic WBB run … and hope the program will maintain lofty status under the next administration.

        1. So, were they thrilled to come to Virginia Tech a short time ago? If moving to Kentucky is best for themselves, careers and their families, was playing for Virginia Tech not that great for themselves, careers and their families? Was their childhood dream to play for Kentucky and they just didn’t get an offer?

          Correct, they have done nothing wrong. There is also nothing wrong when someone breaks up with their partner either. But, you can expect the left partner to feel slighted and bummed to now be 2nd best and there is nothing wrong with that either. In time, the slighted partner might feel grateful for their first relationship.

      2. They are all PRO’s now so we can treat them as such. Really sick of college BB right now. I will get over it I think but I can’t think of any of the runners I am wishing well. No injuries at all but not hoping for any success for any of them.

        1. Well they get to play South Carolina, LSU, Alabama, who else oh Texas, Oklahoma, good luck Kenny. Then again only one of these powerhouses made i to the final four.

  14. The new coach will bring her /his players also … that will be a large part of the hire 😎

    1. Yeah, and so far zero movement on this front. Can’t wait for a lower level coach bringing their lower level players to VT…back to being average at best!!!!

  15. I didn’t know Brooks and Buzz were that close, but I guess they’ve been trading notes.

    1. The VT way. Get a little success, then run for the hills with as many good players as you can take.

      1. That is big-time college sports … never will understand why some Hokies get offended when a great VT coach is poached by a program with more tradition or money (or both).

        We do it all the time to lower tier programs.

      2. Buzz didn’t take anyone with him. Radford played 1 more season, then transferred when the Portal was created.

  16. Watch where Kenny ends up in less than 4 years..unless of course he is able to win a Natty by then😀

  17. Of those players left on the roster, Silva and Blue will never wear O&M. ’25 commit Kennedy Henry will in all liklihood go elsewhere. I haven’t heard the name Amelia Hasset since this mess started, so who knows?
    That leaves one for sure, Hazelton,
    and Wenzel, Baker, Ekh, Nelson, and Micheaux as maybes. Six total at best, ( Hasset is a ?? to me)
    Losing the Claras is a huge kick in the arse!!

    1. If we hire the right coach we may be able to hang on to at least one of Silva or Blue. Regardless, getting the right coach is the most important issue imo (the sooner the better). The recruits we lose will hurt but the right coach will rebuild quickly.

      Or am i being too optimistic?

  18. I am so grateful for Liz Kitley and the way she conducted herself. She was a class act from the beginning and to the end of her college career. She clearly is head-and-shoulders above any others on the roster. It is a shame the little Amoore girl threw away a similar legacy.

    1. What a belittling comment. The “little Amoore girl” had and has a very strong relationship with CKB and it isn’t surprising that she would want to follow him and pursue what is likely a perhaps once in a lifetime financial opportunity. You can go after the coach but not the players IMHO

    2. Classy post. Must take a pretty big individual to post stuff like this anonymously on an internet board.

    3. Don’t agree. We were wondering whether “little Amoore girl” would come back next year anyway, and she still may not go to Ky, lots of options open to her. She gave us four good years and a classy goodbye.

    4. If Liz had a year left, I suspect she would be leaving too. We just got lucky on the timing.

  19. He’s not done yet. No inside info just my uniformed opinion. I hope we lose nobody else. It would help to have a coach on board. I hope that happens soon.

    1. Not having a coach yet is killing us. The players are all going to leave if Whit doesn’t make a move soon. And, then, he’ll settle on some lower level coach who had a year or two of quasi success.

  20. Another master-stroke in Whit’s grand plan to grow the VT brand – it is the acmé of genius, too subtle for mere mortals. Can’t wait for the next revelation….

    1. I loved watching women’s basketball the past four years. I will continue to support it. However, any supporter of sports not named football have to realize the cold hard bitter truth. None of it matters unless football is successful. You don’t have to like it but it is an empirical fact. Whit has to spend 90% of his time on the o e sport that matters right now. He wasn’t sleeping – he was facing that reality. Read the commentary from those in the know

  21. It’s a shame Whit was tied up in trying to save the ACC and Tech football. Brooks really got the best of him it appears and caught him off guard. With the precarious situation with the status of the ACC it can’t be easy signing any new coach

    1. IMO, Whit could not do anything to keep Brooks. As soon as UK called, Brooks was gone.

      1. Thank you. These dolts have ZERO clues how to run an athletic department. They’d complain if Whit had hired a sub par coach who didn’t do much. Instead, he hired a rockstar who put VT women’s bball on the national map. Aaaaaaaand, they still complain. Just idiocy.

  22. Knew it was coming but hurts to see it happen. Great player just still wonder whether CKB couldn’t have continued to do as well here as he may at KY. I wish her well and can certainly understand her decision.

    1. VT & KB beat a team that’s in the Final Four – TWICE BTW – the Men’s beat a team in the Final Four. Except for USC-East in Women’s – there are no dominat teams in College Basketball. – Men’s or Women’s. The gap has closed because of NIL and Transfer Portal. Unfortunately – it’s also killing .college sports – with more deaths to come.

  23. I remember when he first got here & played his daughter Kendyl & we lost at least 2-3 players who were better because of it

    1. I don’t think KY fans will handle this as well as we did and we didn’t handle it great.

  24. Looks like Kenny has taken the two best players and the worst player with him to Kentucky.

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