Local girls basketball followers figured Destini Whitehead was in for big things even before she won District 16-5A's Offensive Most Valuable Player Award as just a sophomore last season.

Big things have started to arrive.

North Texas offered the 5-foot-10 junior forward a college basketball opportunity Sunday. John Tyler athletics coordinator and head football coach Ricklan Holmes announced Whitehead's first-ever Division I college invitation.

With help from Whitehead's 17 points per game, John Tyler finished the 2015-2016 regular season ranked No. 6 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' Class 5A poll and reached the second round of the state playoffs before falling by three points to Mansfield Legacy in a moderate upset.

Legendary head coach Mike Smith retired after the campaign. He finished his career with 503 wins through 39 seasons as Lindale's boys coach, Lindale's girls coach and then as the John Tyler's girls coach.

Carlesa Dixon was hired away from Dallas Lincoln to John Tyler last month. Dixon guided her former program to a Class 4A state championship game appearance in 2013 and most recently led the program to a 4A Region II championship game appearance.

John Tyler will compete in Class 6A this upcoming season due to a growing student population. The team returns first-team all-district selection Alyssa Mayfield as well as Whitehead.

North Texas posted an 11-19 overall record last season under first-year coach Jalie Mitchell. Its campaign ended with a second round loss to Old Dominion in the Conference USA Tournament.

The Mean Green program has been to one NCAA Tournament through its history -- back in 1986 -- and reached the WNIT in 2001 and 2002.

Whitehead, like all high school basketball prospects entering their junior year, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers her in November of 2017.

2018 East Texas Girls Basketball Players With Division I Offers

  • Destini Whitehead, John Tyler, F, 5-10 — offer from North Texas (1)