The 6-foot-1, 170-pound shooting guard picked the Panthers over Texas-San Antonio and Eastern Illinois.
"The reason I picked Northern Iowa was because I had a real good connection with the coaching staff," James said. "They'd been to a number of my basketball games and they really like the way that I play. That was the top school that was recruiting me."
James averaged 20.7 points per game and made 56.5 percent of his 3-pointers (61 of 108) this season as Normandy went 20-6.
He averaged 19.2 points per game as a junior and 16.7 as a sophomore.
The Normandy product is the fifth member of UNI coach Ben Jacobson's recruiting class for next season.
"They want me to come in and play the two guard," James said. "I was real happy about that. I like playing the two. I'm a scorer and I'm going to be able to do that on the next level also."