Jones and Vander Zee Transfer from University of Texas

Filed under: Sports,UT Women's Basketball |

Texas sophomores Nekia Jones and Lilley Vander Zee have both announced that they will be leaving UT after the completion of the spring semester.

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Nekia Jones – photo from texassports.com

“I want to thank The University of Texas family and fans for all the moments and memories we have shared here,” Nekia Jones said. “I consider myself fortunate to have met so many new people who have impacted my life. I wish the future Longhorns nothing but the best. My motto is, ‘live without regrets.’ I don’t regret anything. I believe everything happens for a reason. As my journey continues, I will always be a Longhorn for life.”

Jones played in 18 games this season and averaged 5.4 points and 2.9 rebounds before missing the final 14 games due to injury. In her two seasons at UT, the Beaumont, Texas native averaged 5.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and shot 41.8 percent from 3-point range (23-55 3pt-FG) in 43 games, including one start (11.0 mpg).

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Lilly Vander Zee – photo from texassports.com

Lilly Vander Zee played in 21 games during her two seasons as a Longhorn, totaling 19 points, 11 rebounds and an 11-for-16 mark at the free throw line. She was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll twice during her time at UT.

The Granbury, Texas native was a two-time all-state honoree at Granbury High School for the country’s all-time high school basketball wins leader, Leta Andrews, before arriving on the Forty Acres.

Newly hired University of North Texas women’s coach Jalie Mitchell announced that 5-11 forward Nekia Jones will transfer to North Texas; Jones is the first signee in Mitchell’s tenure as North Texas head coach. The transfer from Texas will sit out the 2015-16 season in accordance with NCAA regulations.

“Nekia is an incredible addition to this team,” Mitchell said. “Her playmaking ability automatically takes us to another level and she can be a problem for opponents at a couple different positions. Whether it’s scoring or setting up a teammate, she will bring a lot of energy and excitement to the Super Pit.”

The Beaumont native just completed her sophomore season with the Longhorns and has averaged 5.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11 minutes per game in her two-year career. Jones is a versatile player who shot 51.6-percent from the field, including 41.8-percent from beyond the arc. She scored in double-figures in eight of her 43 games played and recorded a career-high 10 rebounds vs. UTSA on November 15, 2014.

Jones not only brings on-court ability to the team, but also the intangibles necessary to be a special player in Denton for the last two years of her collegiate career.

“Fans will love Nekia’s personality, kind heart and character,” Mitchell continued. “The knowledge she gained in the last two years, along with her competitive nature and grit, will bring an element to this team that we need to compete for conference championships. She has the full package and I’m very happy that she chose to continue her career wearing Mean Green.”

Coming out of Ozen High School, Jones was the No. 58 overall recruit in the class of 2013, according to ESPN.com rankings. She was coached by Tammy Walker-Brown at Ozen and led the Panthers to the 4A Region III championship game as a junior. That season, she averaged 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists per game and was named to the 20-4A All-District First Team.

Jones was a 2013 McDonald’s All-American nominee and was named to the 4A All-State Team as a sophomore, junior and senior by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.