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Knee issues force UNT forward Mabodu to give up basketball

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

Tosin Mabodu, a forward who was entering her senior season with the North Texas women's basketball team, has been forced to give up the game due to knee injuries that have hampered her since the end of last season.

The Murray State transfer averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds while starting 11 games last season. Mabodu missed the final eight games due to knee problems.

UNT had hoped that offseason surgery would allow Mabodu to recover and play this fall. Those hopes went unrealized when doctors determined Mabodu needed microfracture surgery.

UNT coach Jalie Mitchell confirmed Tuesday evening that Mabodu's career is over.

"Her knee has degenerated to the point it will affect her for the rest of her life," Mitchell said. "It was going to cause more damage if she continued to play."

Mabodu will remain with the program in a coaching role. UNT moved quickly to fill Mabodu's spot on its roster by signing Callie Owens. The sophomore transferred from Pacific last week.

"It's disappointing," Mitchell said of losing  Mabodu. "She received our most improved player award last year, but she will be around the program.

"She will be like a graduate assistant and will be great at it."

Mabodu posted the best games of her career last season. She recorded a double-double with a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds against Tulsa in December. Mabodu also grabbed 10 rebounds in a game against Charlotte. 

UNT will have several other post players returning who could help fill the void left by Mabodu. Micayla Buckner scored a season-high 10 points and blocked three shots in a Conference USA tournament game against UAB. Madison Townley showed potential as a freshman.

Justis Szczepanski, a 6-3 forward, will be eligible this season after transferring from Baylor.

"We have several returners whom we feel good about in the post," Mitchell said. "We have bodies at that position."

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.