Jada Claude, Whitewater High’s most-decorated girls basketball alum, just finished up her first year with the Blue Devils.
She capped her career with the Lady Wildcats as the only player in school history to top 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 250 blocks. Her senior year was one for the ages as she averaged 20.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2.8 blocks a game to earn All-State honors.
Duke head coach Joanna McCallie was thrilled to sign Claude in April 2019.
“Her pursuit of the ball, her willingness to battle, rebound, score around the basket is like none other. She is very intense, very immediate. We need someone who will make an immediate impact and we expect her to because of her tenacity and toughness,” McCallie said on Signing Day. “We just feel like her intensity and her desire to be physical at a young age is going to help her a great deal with us.”
The 6’0” wing played in 18 games as a true freshman at Duke with three starts in non-conference play. She started off strong in her collegiate debut, scoring 6 points and pulling down 7 rebounds against High Point. Claude said the biggest adjustment coming to pro ball is figuring out how to be patient and play within the team’s system while not losing her game.
Duke finished the year 18-12 overall and 12-6 in conference play with a sure spot in the NCAA tournament wiped away by the season cancellation.
The Blue Devils graduate their top two scorers, Haley Gorecki and Leaonna Odom, who accounted for 48 percent of their offense, so the opportunity is there for Claude to grab bigger minutes in year two. She’s dedicating herself this offseason to polishing up her ball handling and focus.
“They both were great role models on and off the court,” said Clause. “While I’m going to miss them greatly, I think they taught the freshmen enough about how to keep our team at a high level.”