Jadyn Donovan, No. 3 pick in women’s basketball, will join the Duke Blue Devils

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Guard Jadyn Donovan, the third women’s basketball pick in the 2023 espnW 100, announced her commitment to Duke over Notre Dame on Monday.

“I chose Duke for a number of reasons, mostly because the academics at Duke are second to none and I want to use my degree to take me as far as I can because the ball stops bouncing one day,” Donovan told ESPN. “It’s also close to home and my family.”

Donovan is the highest-rated player to commit to the Blue Devils since head coach Kara Lawson took over.

“My top two schools were the best options for me,” said Donovan, who also seriously considered North Carolina, Arizona, UCLA and Tennessee. “[Notre Dame] Coach [Niele] Ivey and Coach Lawson both played in the WNBA and had NBA experience. … I want to get a degree in communication and journalism, and Coach Lawson has a lot of experience and a background in that. I also want to stay involved in USA Basketball, and she has ties to that as well.”

Donovan has been a high-ranking player since she stepped onto the court at Sidwell Friends School (DC). She burst onto the scene at the She Got Game Classic in December 2019 with her speed and jumping ability.

Over the years, he’s developed a jump shot and a variety of finishing moves at the rim, and has begun to show he can be a threat from the 3-point line as well. Donovan has become a good passer that she creates for her teammates and also moves well off the ball with a great understanding of when to cut and how to get the action out by making the right reads.

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In his junior year, Donovan played alongside top 100 recruits like UCLA’s Kiki Rice (No. 2 in 2022), Khia Miller (No. 82 in 2023), Kendall Dudley (No. 4 in 2024), and Leah Harmon (No. .35 in 2024), averaging 15.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.3 steals on 58% shooting from the ground.

The 6-foot Donovan also won his second gold medal with USA Basketball this summer. Following last year’s FIBA ​​Americas U-16 gold, he helped win the FIBA ​​U-17 World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary, averaging 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game on 60.4% shooting.

She projects to be a lockdown defender by the time she arrives on campus, as well as a playmaker on the open court and someone who can pressure opposing defenses by getting into the paint and knocking down tough jump shots.

Donovan’s commitment to Duke cannot be overstated for Lawson, who took over the program in July 2020. When Donovan arrives on campus as a freshman, she will be greeted by the recruiting class ranked 11th in the cycle of 2022, which featured No. 16 prospect Ashlon Jackson and No. 33 prospect Shay Bollin. Duke also features ACC freshman of the year Shayeann Day-Wilson and transfer from Georgia Reigan Richardson, a 2021 McDonald’s All American.

Donovan’s commitment could lead to a further recruiting push. Duke has been named to the list of several other five-star recruits in the class of 2023, namely point guard Hannah Hidalgo (No. 5) and flanker/forward Madison Booker (No. 15), as well as some international talent.

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