DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie, along with recruiting coordinators Hernando Planells and Rene Haynes, announced Wednesday the signing of Azana Baines (Blackwood, N.J.), Jennifer Ezeh (Nibo, Anambra State, Nigeria) and Jaida Patrick (West Haverstraw, N.Y.) to national letters of intent to attend Duke in the fall of 2019.
“I really like what all three signees have to offer,” commented McCallie. “With what we have returning and folding them in, it gives us great offensive ability to be creative and to get scoring for a lot of different areas. It helps us defensively become more of a pressing team, especially from Jaida and Azana.”
Duke’s class has been listed No. 12 nationally by espnW HoopGurlz rankings.
“They all will bring athleticism, which is a real critical key for us as we build this year into next year with everybody pretty much returning,” added McCallie. “Even with that being said, with our returners –these are three individuals that are going to vie for time early. They’re great competitors. I see them making impact right away.”
Below is a listing of each signee:
6-1 * Guard * Blackwood, N.J. (Gloucester Catholic H.S.)
No. 24 (All-Star Girls Report), No. 33 (Prospects Nation), No. 64 (Collegiate Girls Report), No. 121 (Blue Star Report)
2017-18 South Jersey Times Girls Basketball and Courier Post Player of the Year … South Jersey MVP in 2017-18 … an All-Non-Publis First Team selection in 2018 … earned Second Team All-State in 2018 … owns 1,231 career points … averaged 20.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.3 blocks a contest as a junior … collected 13 contests with 20 or more points … scored a career-high 30 points … posted five double-doubles … pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds … helped her squad to the Books & Basketball Association Run 4 Roses Platinum Division Championship in 2018 … selected the Run 4 Roses 16U Attitude Division 2018 All-Tournament Team and Most Valuable Player … as a sophomore, averaged 15.7 points and 4.3 rebounds … notched a season-high points of 29 against … collected seven double-doubles on the year … had four games with 20 or more points.
Full name is Azana N. Baines … born on Sept. 23, 2001 in Vorhees, N.J. … daughter of Charles Cordy and Erika Baines … has four sisters, Anisa (17), Khaaliyah (23), Ajan’ee (14), Alonsa (12) and Adaya (10).
McCallie on Baines:
“Azana is a play maker. She is able to make plays off the bounce and can create her own offense. She can shoot the three-pointer as well. She is a solid and aggressive. Azana has great length on defense as a guard. She will play the wing for us and give us more depth there.
6-3 * Forward * Nibo, Anambra State, Nigeria (New Hope Academy in Landover Hills, Md.)
No. 62 (All-Star Girls Report), No. 80 (Collegiate Girls Report), No. 103 (Blue Star Report), No. 111 (Prospects Nation)
Averaged 12.0 points and 11.0 rebounds as a junior … McDonald’s All-America nominee … earned Rose Classic First Team All-Tournament Team honors … averaged 8.0 points and 10.2 rebounds as a sophomore … competed on the Nigerian Youth National Team.
Full name is Jennifer Adaezeh Ezeh … born on Nov. 7, 2000 in Abuja, Nigeria … daughter of Shadrach and Nkiru Ezeh … has three brothers, Chidi, Charles and Obinna … has two sisters, Rachel and Joy.
McCallie on Ezeh:
“Jennifer is a super aggressive post-player; a lot like Onome [Akinbode-James] in terms of aggression. More of a block-to-block scorer. She’s going to high post block to block. She can help offensively and defensively. Jennifer will give us more strength and quickness inside.”
5-10 * Guard/Forward * West Haverstraw, N.Y. (Saddle River Day)
No. 23 (All-Star Girls Report), #38 (Prospect Nation), No. 57 (Collegiate Girls Report), No. 115 (Blue Star Report)
Earned NJ.com Third Team All-State, First Team All-County and the New Jersey Sports Zone All-State Team … chosen to participate in the 2018 Slam Summer Class All-Star Team … owns 870 career points in high school … averaged 14.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 4.6 steals and 3.0 blocks a game as a junior … collected 12 double-doubles, seven triple-doubles and one quadruple-double with 17 points, 15 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 assists … in the state of New York, her 5.6 assists ranked No. 9 overall … helped her squad capture their first Non-Public B Group title and reached the semifinal of the Tournament of Champions for the first time in school history … notched a season-high 23 points on two different occasions against Blair and Hudson Catholic … dished a career-high 16 assists against University … totaled 10 or more steals five times and 10 or more assists five games as well … as a sophomore, averaged 8.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.0 blocks a game … helped team reach the Federation AA Final … earned NYSSWA Sixth Team Class AA All-State … averaged 10.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 steals, 3.0 assists and 1.1 blocks as a freshman … tallied a double-double against Clarkstown North with a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds … notched double-digit scoring in 13 contests … helped high school team to first Class AA Sectional Final since 2001 by scoring game-high 17 points in the Class AA semifinal … All-Section Honorable Mention and Section 1 All-League honors … played for the NJ Sparks travel team capture the Nike Rose Classic Spring Championship in 2018, while earning Second Team All-Tournament honors.
Full name is Jaida Patrick … born on Dec. 19, 2000 … daughter of Derrick Patrick and Monique Andrean … has one brother, Jordan (19), who is a sophomore on the Cornell University football team … has one sister, Janai (20).
McCallie on Patrick:
“Jaida is a tall, lanky guard. I really like how she’s a take on artist off the bounce, but she can also spot the three-pointer really well. I love her defensively, because she gives quickness and length. I think she’ll be really good in that area.”