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Women’s basketball: Newest Lobo eager to make a difference

Jordan Hosey figures to make an instant impact for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-1 forward from Pearland, Texas, has three full seasons at the University of Texas under her belt and her game appears to be well-suited for the up-tempo Lobos. Hosey announced her decision to play at UNM in 2019-20 via Twitter on Thursday.

“I can’t wait to play there,” Hosey said in a phone interview. “I loved my visit and (UNM coach Mike Bradbury) told me how much the fans love basketball. I think it’ll be a great fit.”

Bradbury agreed.

“Jordan’s athleticism and experience will be huge for us this year,” he said. “She’ll play inside but she’s versatile and can score, especially in transition. Her skill set matches perfectly with what we do.”

Hosey will fill one of two open scholarships at UNM this season and her experience with one of the nation’s elite programs should allow for a quick transition. Her road to Albuquerque, on the other hand, has been long and atypical.

Hosey averaged 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 34 games as a junior for the Longhorns in 2017-18. She made three starts but primarily came off the bench, averaging 11.3 minutes per contest for a loaded Texas team that finished 28-7 and advanced to the Sweet 16.

But after the season Hosey announced she would not return to the team. She sat out last season and was not initially sure whether she would play basketball again.

“I had to focus on myself for a while,” Hosey said, “get a grasp on what I really wanted to do with my life. I sat out of school for a year and worked at an elementary school. It forced me to grow and take a look at things outside of athletics, but I also found out I really missed basketball.”

Hosey came to Texas as one of the nation’s top recruits. ESPN.com rated her as the No. 16 overall player in her senior class and Hosey was named to multiple prep All-American teams.

Her role was limited with the Longhorns but Hosey said her experience in Austin was entirely positive. She needed a year of real-world experience in her Houston-area home to gain perspective.

“I was working at the elementary school and coaching some kids in my area,” Hosey said. “I was trying to encourage them but I realized, ‘I can’t be preaching about finishing school when I didn’t even finish myself.’ Then I started watching the NCAA Tournament and I knew: I needed to get back to basketball and finish my education.”

New Mexico came into play because Bradbury had reached out to Hosey shortly after she announced her intention to leave Texas. When she decided to return to the game, Hosey looked Bradbury up.

“(Lobo freshman) Corina Carter and I have the same trainer,” Hosey said, “so I reached out to her and got (Bradbury’s) number. I went on a visit to UNM in May and everything just felt right.”

Hosey had to complete numerous summer classes to become eligible for the upcoming season. That mission was accomplished this week and Hosey plans to arrive in Albuquerque this weekend.

“It was a lot of work but I got my associate’s degree and I’ll technically be a senior (at UNM),” Hosey said. “Good to go.”

As for basketball, Hosey prefers the power forward spot because, “I like to bang and get rebounds. But I’ll play anywhere Coach Mike wants to put me. I really want to contribute to this team.”

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