Lobos Ink UTEP Transfer Najala Howell
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Head women’s basketball coach Mike Bradbury has announced that Najala Howell, a 5-10 guard/forward who played the last three seasons at UTEP, has signed an NLI to play for The University of New Mexico. Howell will sit out the 2018-19 season per NCAA transfer regulations and be eligible to play in 2019-20.
“I chose New Mexico because this program is the perfect fit for me,” said Howell. “I’m excited because it’s been a long time coming, and I know for a FACT that nothing but blessings are coming this way for me and for the Lobos.”
Howell last year averaged 11.9 points per game and 6.3 rebounds for the Miners, shooting .393 from the field and hitting 37 three-pointers. She also was an excellent foul shooter at 82.4% on the season. She had 21 double-figure scoring games (out of 31), and she broke the 20-point barrier four times including a career-high 23 against both UC Riverside and UTSA. Against UTSA she added a career-high 13 rebounds, giving her one of her five double-doubles on the season.
Later in 2018, she bested her career-high for rebounds with 16 against FIU. Overall for her career, she played in 86 games at UTEP, starting 36. She averaged 7.5 points per game (and 10.5 over her last two seasons). An excellent student, she was recently named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, in which a student-athlete must maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
For head coach Mike Bradbury, Howell fits the prototype of exactly what he is looking for in a student-athlete.
“Naj is a great athlete that will be a great scorer for us as soon as she steps on the floor. She is a very versatile player that can play anywhere on the perimeter.” Bradbury added, “She will also surprise a lot of people with how good of a rebounder she will be for us. We’re excited that Naj has chosen the Lobos.”
She joins a Fall signing class of Jayla Everett (St. Louis, Missouri), Bre’asiajah Matthews (Dallas, Texas), Shaiquel McGruder (Trotwood, Ohio) and Quincy Noble (McKinley, Texas) that was rated No. 19 by ESPNW/HoopGirlz. She is the third signee this Spring, joining Ahlise Hurst (Australia) and Nike McClure (Washington State).