Posted: Apr 20, 2020
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Florida SouthWestern State All-American Za'Nautica Downs is headed North to continue her academic and athletic career, as she signed with the Seahawks of UNC-Wilmington Wednesday on National Signing Day across the country.
Downs was electric for the Bucs during her two year career. As a sophomore this season she averaged 18.7 points per game, finishing second on the programs' single season scoring list with 580 points. She nailed 85 three pointers on the year which shattered an FSW single season mark and her 65 steals on the year pushed her over 150 for her career which is the most in program history. Downs scored in double figures in each of the final 15 games of the season for the Bucs to earn Suncoast Conference Player of the Year honors. She topped the 20 point mark 13 times and went over 30 five times, including a school record 41 point performance against Hillsborough to earn her both FCSAA State Player of the Week and NJCAA National Player of the Week accolades. At season's end, she was named both an NJCAA and World Exposure Second Team All-American.
Downs' led FSW to unprecedented team success in her two seasons as well. The Bucs earned their first two trips to the NJCAA National Tournament and won a pair of Suncoast Conference Championships in the process, going a combined 17-1 in league play during her career. FSW was ranked inside the NJCAA's Top 25 all 26 regular season weeks during Downs' tenure with the Bucs.
Downs will try to help the Seahawks bounce back from a down year in 2019-20 in which they managed just a 10-20 overall record and a 6-12 mark in Colonial Athletic Association action. Downs should have a chance to step in and contribute right away as UNCW graduated each of their top four scorers from this season and 82% of their scoring overall.
Downs was one of three Bucs to sign on Wednesday, joining Nairimar Vargas-Reyes (Stony Brook) and Simone Lett (South Alabama).