UTEP says farewell to student athletes


From left to right: sophmore guard Katia Gallegos, junior forward Tydus Verhoeven, sophomore wide receiver Jacob Cowing, junior guard Destiny Thurman, junior guard Souley Boum. Photos courtesy of UTEP Athletics.

Emily Autumn Velasquez, Sports Editor

Every year several athletes are added to the rosters here at UTEP, and expected to perform to the best of their ability. But what can also be seen is athletes leaving to pursue opportunities outside of UTEP by entering the transfer portal.

Sophomore guard Katia Gallegos, local El Paso talent from Franklin High School, has been one of the team’s strongest players for the women’s basketball team for the past two years. But now she is getting ready to say goodbye to her hometown to pursue bigger opportunities.

“What I have decided is not easy, but I’m excited for what is to come and looking forward to exploring all opportunities for my basketball career,” Gallegos said in a Tweet.

After two seasons with the Miners, Gallegos is now taking her talents to the American Athletic Conference where she will be playing for Tulsa.

Another player UTEP has parted ways with is junior guard Tydus Verhoeven after being with the Miners for the past four years.

“I’m announcing that I will not be returning to UTEP and will be seeking my dream of playing professional basketball while also entering my name in the transfer portal to keep all options open,” Verhoeven announced on Twitter April 1.

Verhoeven is set to continue his basketball career at Northwestern College where he will play for the Wildcats, as he Tweeted April 28.

Wide receiver Jacob Cowing led the receivers in yards and was a major component in the success of the football program due to his ability to make big plays.

“I just want to thank you for all the love and the support of my three seasons here at UTEP,” Cowing said in an Instagram post Dec. 21 announcing his decision.

Cowing received multiple offers from different schools such as Louisiana State University, Oregon, and Arizona State University, but announced Jan. 3 that he would be playing for the University of Arizona after playing his first three seasons with the Miners.

Junior guard Destiny Thurman was the leading scorer for the women’s basketball team with 13 points per game and was named their “most valuable player.”

“I want to thank UTEP & the coaches for giving me an opportunity to play in a place that allowed me to grow not only as a player, but as a person too,” Thurman said in a tweet March 28, where she announced her decision to enter the transfer portal.

Thurman will be taking her talents to Colorado State where she will play for the Rams after she played for the Miners for two years.

Junior guard Souley Boum has played with the men’s basketball team for four years and was named team MVP and athlete of the year at The Golden Pick Awards.

“All the memories UTEP has brought me will be cherished in my heart forever, and I am forever blessed to wear UTEP across my chest,” Boum said in an Instagram post April 6 where he announced his decision to leave UTEP.

Boum decided to continue his basketball career at Xavier University as a graduate transfer student, he announced on Instagram May 2.

Emily Autumn Velasquez is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]; @emilyautumn20 on Twitter.