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The tweet was posted late on April Fool's Day. But it was no joke.

Deja Church, a former Michigan Miss Basketball finalist and a star for the Michigan Wolverines, announced that she will transfer.

An athletic-department spokesman confirmed to The News that she intends to leave.

"Thank you to The University Of Michigan!" Church wrote on Twitter shortly before 11 p.m. Monday. "I appreciate all your support and for accepting me with open arms! However I will not be returning to UM next season.

"Forever will love UM, but I know God has something else special planned for me!"

Church, a 5-foot-10 guard who attended Southfield A&T High School, just completed her sophomore season, in which she averaged 8.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Church played and started all 34 games for Michigan, which made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, before losing to No. 1 seed Louisville.

As a freshman, she played in 33 games (starting four) and averaged 7.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

At Southfield Lathrup (three years) and then A&T (one year, after the schools consolidated), Church, 20, scored more than 1,000 points and had more than 450 rebounds in a career that included co-player-of-the-year honors her junior season. 

She was fourth in the Miss Michigan Basketball voting in 2017, with Muskegon Mona Shores' Jordan Walker (Western Michigan) winning the award.

Church committed to Michigan, after initially committing to Minnesota.

This is the second significant departure from Michigan women's basketball in the last three years. Kysre Gondrezick, Miss Michigan Basketball in 2016 out of Benton Harbor, transferred to West Virginia after her freshman season at Michigan. That season at Michigan, she led Big Ten freshmen in scoring.

Michigan was 22-12 in 2018-19, Kim Barnes Arico's seventh as coach. The Wolverines made the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season, after winning the WNIT championship in 2016-17.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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