Ole Miss women’s basketball coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and her staff received news that junior Shakira Austin has been ruled immediately eligible to play for the 2020-21 season by the NCAA.
Austin, a 6-foot-5 forward and ESPN’s No. 1 rated transfer this season, was a significant piece of the puzzle at national powerhouse Maryland before coming to Ole Miss this past spring. There, she played in 66 games and started in 47 during two Big Ten championship runs in 2019 and 2020, during which the Terrapins went a combined 57-9 overall.
Along the way, the former No. 3 national high school prospect and McDonald’s All-American broke Maryland’s single-season blocks record with 89 her freshman season and was named Second-Team All-Big Ten her sophomore season. Austin was also named to the 2019-20 Preseason Lisa Leslie Award Watch List, which is given annually to the top center in the nation.
“We are extremely happy about the opportunity Shakira has been given this year,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I’d like to thank Coach Frese and the University of Maryland for their assistance with this. Kira will be able to impact us immediately in every aspect, and we are excited for her and us.”
Austin is part of a high-powered class of newcomers at Ole Miss in 2020-21, joining four freshmen that were ranked as ESPN’s No. 1 signing class in the SEC and No. 13 in the nation. Those highly-ranked freshmen include five-star prospects Jacorriah Bracey (Drew, Mississippi/Thomas E. Edwards High School) and Madison Scott (Indian Head, Maryland/Bishop McNamara High School), as well as Snudda Collins (Brookhaven, Mississippi/Brookhaven High School) and Caitlin McGee (Jacksonville, Florida/Sandalwood High School). McGee enrolled at Ole Miss this past spring and joined the team after graduating high school early.
Ole Miss has also added junior college transfer and three-point specialist Tiya Douglas and freshman Aleah Sorrentino, who reclassified to the 2020 class and enrolled at Ole Miss one year early.
Shakira Austin • Junior • Forward • 6-5
Fredericksburg, Va. • Riverdale Baptist • Maryland
• ESPN’s No. 1 rated transfer in 2020
• Significant contributor of two Big Ten championship teams at Maryland in 2019 and 2020
• Played in 66 games, starting 47
• Averaged 10.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while shooting 47.2 percent overall
• Leaves Maryland with 668 points, 542 rebounds and 130 blocks in her career
• Broke Maryland’s single-season blocks record with 89 her freshman season
• 15 career double-doubles
• In career, has had multiple blocks in 26 games, 10 or more rebounds in 22 games
• No. 1 nationally in 2019-20 in advanced analytic On-Court Forced Turnover Rate (via Pivot Analysis)
• 2020 Second-Team All-Big Ten
• 2019-20 Lisa Leslie Award Watch List
• 2018-19 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Midseason Watch List
• 2019 Coaches Honorable Mention All-Big Ten
• 2019 All-Big Ten Defensive Team
• 2019 All-Big Ten Freshman Team
• 5x Big Ten Freshman of the Week in 2018-19
• USBWA National Freshman of the Week on Jan. 15, 2019
• ESPN’s No. 3 overall prospect and No. 2 forward coming out of Riverdale Baptist
• McDonald’s All-American
• WBCA High School All-American
• Played in the Jordan Brand Classic Game, where she was MVP of the away team with 18 points and 14 rebounds
• Played junior and sophomore years at Colonial Forge High School
• Averaged 18.0 points and 12.3 rebounds per game as a junior and blocked 88 shots
• Led Colonial Forge team to Class 6A state title as a junior
• Named the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star Player of the Year in her junior season
• Played freshman year at James Monroe High School
• Invited to USA Basketball U18 Team Trials in May 2018
• Majoring in communications