STEPHENVILLE – For the second straight year, Tarleton has gone to the Natural State to bolster its frontcourt prowess.
Head coach Misty Wilson announced the addition of Arkansas State transfer Karolina Szydlowska to the Texans 2022-23 roster on Wednesday.
Szydlowska, originally from Wroclaw, Poland, made 19 starts across 36 games played during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. The 6-0 forward averaged 4.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game over her two-year run with the Red Wolves.
She should have little difficulty assimilating into the Texans’ frontcourt. Szydlowska was teammates with Seynabou Thiam, who arrived at Tarleton by way of Arkansas State in 2021, during her sophomore year.
“Karolina is a player that we have had our eye on since her time at Seward County Community College,” Wilson said. “One of the things I admire most about Karolina is the quiet confidence she carries herself with. Her confidence as a person and a player is warranted, as it comes from the dedication and work she puts into herself and her game. Karolina is a forward that can really stretch the floor offensively as well as handle the ball in transition and make plays. Karolina is extremely mature and will give us some valuable experience on and off the floor. My staff and I are confident that she will make an impact in her time at Tarleton State.”
The addition of Szydlowska paired with Thiam – Tarleton’s single-season record-holder for blocked shots (63) – gives the Texans two stout rim protectors. Szydlowska led the Red Wolves in blocks (23) in 2020-21. Prior to entering the Division I ranks, Szydlowska prepped at Seward County Community College, where she ranked fourth in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) in blocks with 42 during the 2019-20 season.
Szydlowska was a key contributor for the Red Wolves in the COVID-19-condensed 2020-21 season. She appeared in all 21 games and made 15 starts. Szydlowska ranked second on the team in rebounds per game (5.9) and snagged seven-or-more boards eight times. She grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in a game at Louisiana on Feb. 5, 2021 and paired 11 rebounds with 10 points to notch her first career double-double in a win over Central Baptist on Jan. 4, 2021. Offensively, Szydlowska averaged a career-best 6.7 points per outing and scored in double figures on seven occasions, including a career-high 17 points vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Feb. 12, 2021.
As a junior in 2021-22, Szydlowska shot 47.7 percent combined in 19 appearances for the Red Wolves.
Szydlowska teased her D1 potential over two seasons at Seward County CC under head coach Austin Mefford.
She was the top overall playmaker on a Saints squad that posted a 25-7 overall record and advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA Region VI Tournament in 2019-20. Szydlowska averaged 11.3 points, seven rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game to lead Seward County CC in all categories. Following the Saints’ postseason run, she earned First Team All-KJCCC West and Second Team All-Region VI honors.
Szydlowska was an integral member of a Seward County CC team that advanced to the NJCAA Tournament as a freshman in 2017-18. She averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per outing and ranked fourth among her conference peers in blocks per game (1.4).
Prior to moving overseas, Szydlowska was the leading scorer on the Polish U20 National Team.
Szydlowska is the first player to sign with Tarleton during the 2022 recruiting cycle.
The Texans anticipate announcing additional signings in the coming weeks.