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Duke’s Vanessa de Jesus excited to begin NCAA March Madness

Steve Angeles | TFC News California

Posted at Mar 18 2023 08:48 PM

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Filipino-American Vanessa de Jesus looks forward to the return of the Duke University Blue Devils in this year's NCAA in the US.

It's the first time the Lady Blue Devils will return to the women's basketball tournament since 2018.

While they have reached the Final Four several times, and made it to the championship twice, the Duke women have yet to clinch a national title.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play in this tournament," said De Jesus. "So it's finally being that time, it's just a surreal moment. I'm just so excited to finally play here at home."

Duke fell short in winning the ACC tournament. But their 25-6 record still earned them the Number 3 seed in their bracket.

"We wanted to get here for this moment and just really want to show what we've got," De Jesus added. "It's been a long time coming, but I think having the moment now and it being finally this time, it's something we're just really excited for."

Coming off the bench in her junior year, De Jesus has averaged five points a game on a 41% shooting.

While they’re favored to make a deep tournament run, Lady Blue Devils Coach Kara Lawson is taking this experience one game at a time.

"I think one of our strengths all year is we've just focused on the next game, and we let everybody else talk about the big picture stuff," Lawson shared. "We talk about trying to stay focused, but success for us tomorrow is to win. If we can do that, we get a chance to play another day."