North Texas Adds Justis Szczepanski
Former Baylor Forward Joins Mean Green Women's Basketball Team
DENTON — North Texas’ women’s basketball head coach Jalie Mitchell announced the addition of former Baylor forward Justis Szczepanski Friday. Szczepanski, who was a freshman last season, will be forced to redshirt this 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules. She is the fourth women’s basketball player to transfer to Denton from a power-five conference school in the past 14 months.
Szczepanski (pronounced Zuh-pan-ski) is a 6-foot-3 forward who played in 18 games for a Lady Bears team that reached the Elite Eight of the 2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. She played in the first three of Baylor’s four tournament games. Furthermore, she made the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the fall of 2015.
Coming out of high school, she was a four-star recruit and ranked in the top-10 in the nation for her position. She graduated from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, in 2015. Szczepanski attended Aledo High School until transferring to IMG Academy for her senior season.
“Justis fits our style perfectly,” Mitchell said. “We are fortunate to continue adding power-five level talent to our program.”
As a junior at Aledo, she averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and four blocks per game. She was named Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-District 7-4A and MVP of the Granbury Tournament. As a senior, Szczepanski was named Defensive Player of the Year and team MVP.
“This is a reunion of sorts for Justis and I,” Mitchell explained. “We met and began getting to know one another while I was at the University of Texas. I can still remember following her around to high school and AAU games. I believe the familiarity helped a ton in the process of finding her new home.”
Last year with Baylor, the Portland, Oregon, native scored a career-high five points against McNeese State and grabbed a career-best six rebounds against Oral Roberts University.
“Justis is a long and athletic post player with a very high motor, known mostly for her defense and shot blocking abilities,” Mitchell said. “She is great around the rim and looking forward to expanding her range some in the year off. “
Szczepanski joins Tyara Warren (West Virginia), Terriell Bradley (Kansas) and Stabresa McDaniel (Minnesota) as players to transfer from a power-five conference school to North Texas since Mitchell became the Mean Green head coach in May of 2015. Warren, Bradley and McDaniel will be eligible to play this coming season.
The Mean Green season begins on November 6 when they host Texas Woman’s University in an exhibition game. They open the regular season in the Preseason WNIT at Little Rock on November 11.
Fans are encouraged to follow Mean Green women’s basketball on social media. Get live updates during games on Twitter @MeanGreenWBB, or look for updates and photos on Facebook at Facebook.com/MeanGreenWBB. Fans can also visit MeanGreenSports.com for full game recaps and the latest news on the women’s basketball program.