UND guard Makayla Wallace was on the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center court Saturday morning surrounded by her teammates.
She thought she was reading off an athletic department promotional advertisement. Instead, as she started to read off the teleprompter, she realized she was reading that the NCAA had granted her immediate eligibility.
"I was just excited and in shock," said Wallace, who transferred from Evansville University. "I didn't expect it. I was waiting on the news and coach Mal was like, 'When I get the news, I'll tell you.' ... I guess everyone knew but me."
Wallace arrived in Grand Forks in late May but was unsure of her NCAA status.
"I just left it all up to God and had faith," she said.
Wallace, a 5-foot-4 point guard, has two seasons of eligibility remaining. She started four games as a sophomore at Evansville and started 20 as a freshman. She averaged 4.8 points as a sophomore and 6.3 as a freshman, although she scored a career-high 18 points against Valparaiso. She had 45 steals last year.
A native of St. Louis, Wallace played at Kirkwood High School, where she won back-to-back Class 5 state championships in 2017 and 2018.
After finishing 15-15 last season, UND fired head coach Travis Brewster. Since, UND tabbed assistant coach Mallory Bernhard as interim coach through the 2020-21 season.
The Fighting Hawks return their top seven scorers from a year ago -- four of which were freshmen.