DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie has added a fourth member to the 2019 recruiting class with the addition of Fayetteville, Ga., native Jada Claude. The 6-0 versatile wing will join the Blue Devils in August of 2019, after signing a letter of intent Wednesday.
A product of Whitewater High School, Claude was a Region, County and Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) All-State 5A South Player of the Year as a senior, after averaging 20.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.8 blocks per game. She received GHSA All-State Class 5A, Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) All-Metro and AJC All-State First Team selections this past season, while also earning GHSA All-State Class 5A Best Rebounder.
“We are thrilled to add Jada to our talented class we have coming in,” said McCallie. “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. Rene [Haynes] saw her game when she had 38 points and 25 rebounds. 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.”
On the year, Claude was a monster on the boards collecting 22 double-doubles, four games with over 20 points and 20 rebounds and two contests with more than 30 points and 20 rebounds. Claude collected 10 games with 20 or more points and three 30-point contests. She registered a career-high 38 points in January against Jonesboro to go along with 23 rebounds, five blocked shots and one assist. Claude pulled down 20 or more rebounds in five games, including a career-high 26 versus Griffin. She also blocked 70 shots on the year with a season-high five on four different occasions.
She completed her high school career as the only player in school history with over 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 250 blocked shots for both boys and girls. Claude tallied 1,382 points, 1,217 rebounds, 254 blocks and 149 steals over her four seasons with Whitewater. She added 52 double-doubles over her career as well.
Claude averaged 15.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 steals as a junior, while being named Region Player of the Year, County Defensive Player of the Year, GACA All-State 5A South Team, AJC All-State Second Team and AJC All-Metro Second Team. She averaged 11.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 steals her sophomore year earning All-Region First Team and County Defensive Player of the Year. Claude notched 12 double-doubles as a junior and 11 as a sophomore.
As a freshman, Claude earned County Freshman Player of the Year and All-Region Second Team, after averaging 7.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots. Her 81 blocks as a rookie was her high school freshman record for boys and girls. Claude posted seven double-doubles and swatted a career-high 10 blocked shots in a game against Fayette.
Claude will join Azana Baines (Blackwood, N.J.), Jennifer Ezeh (Nibo, Anambra State, Nigeria) and Jaida Patrick (Haverstraw, N.Y.), who already signed in November of 2018 and will be freshmen at Duke in the fall.
“I’m extremely excited about the future of the program,” added McCallie. “This group of four is not only talented and hard-working, but also, philosophically, they’re just really on board with being a Duke student-athlete. It’s something they’ve desired. We feel really good about their focus and they’re ability as a group of four to impact our team. It’s like the competitive cauldron will be stirred up and it will benefit everyone.”