#First44 Day 44: What's in a Number?
Mitchell Explains Her Special Connection with No. 44
Mitchell was named head coach of the North Texas women's basketball team on April 9, 2015. Between moving back to Denton, getting to know the team and beginning to operate the Mean Green program, Mitchell will be very busy early on in her tenure. We want to give fans an in-depth look at her #First44 days on the job in the form of a 44-part series that will run from April 10-May 23.
So here, on Day 44 of the #First44, you may be wondering what exactly is the significance of that number to Jalie Mitchell. Well, when she was just starting out playing basketball as a middle-schooler in Duncanville, her coach said she played like NBA power forward Horace Grant, who wore No. 54.
But when Mitchell got to high school, she was no longer the biggest player on the team, and uniform sizes went up as the numbers increased, so she flip-flopped the digits and took on No. 45. At Duncanville High School, the players wore odd on the road and even at home, and Mitchell had No. 44 for home games.
Because she thought she played better at home, Mitchell kept with No. 44 when she moved on to North Texas and it served her well for four great years.
"It's a number that will be with me forever," she said. "I decided on No. 44 as an incoming freshman, but I didn't know that it would stay with me for life... With that number being retired, no one else can wear it on a Mean Green jersey ever again, so it's a very special honor to me."