AUSTIN (KXAN) — Not even a year removed from open-heart surgery, DeSoto native Tionna Herron is returning to Texas to play basketball for the Longhorns.

Herron didn’t play for the Kentucky Wildcats while she recovered from her surgery in August 2022 to fix “a structural abnormality.” Texas Athletics announced Wednesday that Herron completed her transfer and she’ll be on the 2023-24 roster.

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“I wanted to move closer to home, especially after having this major heart surgery made me realize I wanted to be closer to family,” Herron said. “I also wanted to go somewhere that could help me be better than I was before my surgery, and I felt Texas gave the competitive mindset and the family feel from the team to the staff.”

Herron was ranked No. 69 overall in the 2022 recruiting class by ESPN and was teammates with Longhorns forward Amina Muhammad, helping lead the DeSoto Eagles to back-to-back state titles in 2021 and 2022. At 6-foot-4, she’ll be “one of the future centers for many years to come for Texas women’s basketball,” head coach Vic Schaefer said. Abbie Boutilier, the 6-foot-9 incoming freshman from Flower Mound is the other.

“Tionna adds quality young depth to our frontcourt that we are excited about developing in the coming months and years,” Schaefer said.

After a second-round loss to Louisville in the NCAA tournament this past season, the Longhorns are rebuilding their roster with both Herron, Boutilier and Madison Booker. Booker was recently named to the U.S. National under-19 team that will compete in the FIBA Women’s World Cup from July 15-23 in Madrid, Spain.