WACO, Texas — Baylor hasn't played a game since the season was shut down in early March, but they still scored a huge win off the court when DiJonai Carrington announced that she would be attending Baylor as a graduate transfer.
"I just really felt at home with them," Carrington said.
Carrington said she felt a great sense of family when she talked with different players and coaches. She recently had Zoom conversations with guard Didi Richards and Head Coach Kim Mulkey about what to expect at Baylor.
"She (Mulkey) made me feel super comfortable," Carrington said. "She has that southern lingo, that Louisiana accent. Every time she said something, I'm like what did you say? I'm asking her what the slang terms mean and she just thought it was so funny so it was just super comfortable from that point on."
The San Diego native was considered the second-best graduate transfer on the market by ESPN. DiJonai narrowed her list down to Baylor, Oregon and UCONN, but ultimately, she felt Waco was where she needed to be.
"Talking with the players, they told me that Coach Mulkey is going to push you and press your buttons but that's apart of it," Carrington said. "That's what is going to make you the best you are going to be and I definitely need that. I definitely need a coach that has a little bit of fire in her and someone that will light a fire in me."
DiJonai is a 5-11 guard, who only played in five games this past season. Her senior year was cut short due to a knee injury.
"I was able to become a better teammate," she said. "I learned how to lead from the side and how to really get the best out of my teammates. Even when I'm not on the court and I think that was a big thing, I will be able to take into the rest of my life because who knows what situations I'm going to be thrown in."
The expectations going into her senior season were high after starting all 36 games for the Cardinal as a junior. She helped Stanford advance to the Elite Eight, averaging 14 points and 7.5 rebounds that season.
"My junior year was super exciting for me," she said. "I think it was a gradual progression throughout my college career and I was finally able to kind of finally let loose a little bit and tap into my potential, which I don't think I've fully tapped into at all yet."
This is the third year in a row that Kim Mulkey has brought in a graduate transfer. Mulkey struck gold in each of the last two seasons with Chloe Jackson and Te'a Cooper.
Carrington is hoping to come right in and help the Lady Bears anyway possible.
"I think my experience and having played at the highest level and in the biggest games," Carrington said. "I think I'm ready for that position and I'm excited to bring my physicality, my leadership abilities and just my toughness to the Baylor team."
With one year left, DiJonai is hoping to end her college career on top of the basketball world. She is excited to pursue her masters degree at Baylor and hopes to bring a fourth national title to Waco.
"I wouldn't shoot anything less than a National Championship," Carrington said. "That's my goal but obviously there are other goals that need to be reached along the way and I'm not looking over any of those."
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