🏀 Women's Basketball Completes 2021 Class

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Head coach Brandon Schneider has announced the finalization of the 2021 class with the addition of four newcomers. Nadira Eltayeb joins Matea Nikolic, Sanna Strom and Danai Papadopoulou as incoming freshmen ready to make an impact for the Jayhawks in the fall.

"During the ups and downs of the pandemic season, we were forced to move pieces around and often players out of position for obvious reasons. As we move forward and with the addition of four newcomers, we are really excited to be back to a complete roster with depth at every position."

Brandon Schneider, head coach

 

Nadira Eltayeb | Center | 6-5 | Tacoma, Washington | Thomas Jefferson High School School /  Eastern Arizona College

  • All-Academic Team NJCAA
  • Won 2021 Division and Conference Championship with Eastern Arizona
  • No. 1 Junior College center prospect in the 2022 class, graduating early
  • No. 6 Junior College prospect overall
  • Averaged 5.9 rebounds per game and 6.5 points per game for Eastern Arizona
  • “Low-post insider brings a shot blocking presence to the paint, interior footwork, finishes with either hand in the block, safety-valve vs. pressure, catches in the block and scores vs. contact and mobile in transition game.” — Dan Olson
  • Broke high school’s single game record for rebounds in a game

SCHNEIDER ON NADIRA: “Nadira adds a strong and physical presence to our frontline. Coach Turner has done a really nice job with her development at Eastern Arizona. She has good interior footwork and a solid repertoire of post moves with the ability to finish with both right and left-handed jump hooks in the paint. We feel she has the size, mentality and shot blocking ability to protect the rim for us defensively.”


 

Danai Papadopoulou | Center | 6-4 | Thessaloniki, Greece | Mandoulides High School/Panathlitikos Club Team

  • Scored 1,245 points with Mandoulides in the 2017-18 season competing with women’s U18, U15 and U15 teams
  • Top scorer in the women’s and U18 categories in back-to-back seasons
  • Set scoring record in December 2019 by reaching 3,018 points with the same team
  • Scored 656 points in the women’s and U18 categories in 2019-2020 season, breaking own previous record of 648 points
  • Has scored a career-high 50 points in a game before
  • Competed on the national stage as a part of the Greek national team with current Jayhawk Ioanna Chatzileonti
  • Also played for her local club, Panathlitikos, which is a part of the Greek Women’s Basketball League

SCHNEIDER ON DANAI: Danai is a skilled back to the basket post player with good hands, good feet and a soft touch around the rim. She comes from a basketball family and understands what it takes to compete at the highest level.” 


 

SANNA STRÖM | GUARD | 5-11 | LULEÅ, SWEDEN | RIG LULEÅ

  • Has competed and won on the national stage
  • In the women’s U16 Division B, helped her team place first in the European Championships
  • Has also won first, second and third place at the Swedish Championships with three different teams
  • Club team, RIG Luleå, placed first in local league on the Division I level
  • Earned a spot on the Swedish Championships All-Stars Team and European Girls Basketball League (EGBL) All-Stars squad, named league’s Most Valuable Player
  • Averaged, in 2019-20 with the European Youth Basketball League (EYBL), 11.4 points, 5.8 rebounds with a 12.9 efficiency rate in nine games

SCHNEIDER ON SANNA: “Sanna is a big shooting guard who can score at all three levels. She has a terrific release with deep range and has a great feel for the game. She’s strong and plays tough on both ends of the floor.”


 

MATEA NIKOLIC | FORWARD | 6-4 | SKOPJE, NORTH MACEDONIA | STELLA AZZURRA ACADEMY

  • Competed with the North Macedonian Senior National Team in European Championship
  • Youngest on team and one of the youngest players to participate in the tournament
  • Has also played on both the U16 and U18 counterparts of the North Macedonian national squads
  • In 2019, represented North Macedonia at European Championships in U18 Division B and averaged seven points per game and four rebounds in three games
  • In same year, competed with a Division I professional Spanish team

SCHNEIDER ON MATEA: “Matea is a versatile forward with tremendous size and strength. Her offensive skill set makes her a very difficult matchup, and she has the potential to take our front line to another level.”