Women's Hoops Adds Two In Spring Signing Class
Accomplished Posts Will Add Depth To Mean Green Roster In 2016-17
DENTON -- Head women's basketball coach Jalie Mitchell has announced the signing of two post players to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. The move will bolster a Mean Green roster that made strides without a deep bench in 2015-16.
Micayla Buckner - a 6-3 transfer from Collin College - joins the North Texas roster as a redshirt sophomore, and 6-2 Mya Johnson will be a freshman following an impressive four-year career with Parkway North High in St. Louis. They join a fall signing class that included three forwards in November.
"With the loss of Acheil [Tac] to graduation, it's been important to make sure we maintain a powerful inside presence," Mitchell said. "Micayla and Mya both bring much needed depth to the post position. Their combination of size, strength, scoring and rebounding will allow us to do so much more on the court."
Micayla Buckner - 6'3 - Post - Collin College - Garland, TX
Buckner could make an immediate impact for the North Texas interior after becoming a premier junior college player this season. She joins the Mean Green after stints at Baylor and Collin College, and she'll remain close to her hometown of Garland after signing with North Texas.
She is currently ranked as the third-best junior college player at her position and 10th nationally by Dan Olson of the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. She averaged 11.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32 games played at Collin College, going along with a 48.4 percentage from the field. Buckner - a NJCAA First Team All-Region V selection - was a big reason why her team finished with a school-best 26-6 record and captured a conference title in 2016.
Buckner landed with the Lady Cougars after signing with Baylor out of high school. Although she suited up for the Bears, Buckner never saw any action for a team that won its fifth consecutive Big 12 championship in 2014-15.
The redshirt sophomore's high school career was a success as Buckner became a McDonald's All-America nominee. At Naaman Forest High in Garland, she averaged 11 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and one block per game as a senior. She was the District 11-5A Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12, a three-time first team all-district selection and averaged a double-double in her last two seasons with the Rangers.
Mitchell on Buckner: "I have watched [Micayla] develop over the years into a very confident player who knows exactly what kind of difference she can make on the floor. She can score in a variety of ways and is comfortable with her back to the basket or facing up. She positions herself for success down low and makes her defender play honest with the ability to knock down the mid-range jumper, and her ability to pass out of the post is tremendous. Fans will enjoy Micayla's defensive presence as a shot blocker, in addition to her playmaking ability and seamless transition into our running game. Micayla gained a ton of knowledge from her experience at Baylor and used that to help her team achieve national recognition this season. She knows how to get the job done and that is a great need for us as we continue to compete for championships."
Mya Johnson - 6'2 - Post - Parkway North HS - St. Louis, MO
Coming out of Parkway North High, incoming freshman Mya Johnson is an interior post who makes a living off of crashing the boards. She is such a tenacious rebounder, in fact, that the St. Louis native pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds in a single game during her junior season, tying Missouri's single-game record.
After four years as a letterwinner for the Vikings, Johnson averaged 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game during her senior year, good enough to be named to the Class 5 All-State Team by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association.
Mitchell on Mya: "Rebounding is the key to the possession game and in order to win that you have to have a player like Mya, who simply outworks and overpowers her opponents for the ball. She is a very determined young lady and has worked extremely hard to get here. It means a lot to her, and that is how I know she belongs at North Texas. Mya will adapt easily to the physical nature of the college game. She embraces her role and is hungry for the opportunity to improve and contribute at this level. Fans will love the passion, emotion and competitive nature she plays the game with. I am excited to add her to our family."