While Filipino-American five-star recruit Jalen Green’s decision to sign with the NBA G-League’s Professional Pathway Program has been the talk of the town for the last couple of days, another US-based Filipino recruit’s decision to join a prestigious collegiate basketball program has flown under the radar.
In late 2019, through the early-signing period, collegiate basketball powerhouse Duke University secured the services of Vanessa De Jesus, the senior star point guard of the Sierra Canyon Girls’ Basketball Team. Sierra Canyon is also home to the sons of NBA stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
"Vanessa is a person of incredible character and consistency," said Duke University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie, via GoDuke.com.
"She plays the game immediately all the time. Vanessa has a great three-ball, can go off the bounce, can play the one or the two, and it's her maturity and her mindset that she really brings to the table.”
The 5-foot-8 De Jesus averaged 15.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals in her sophomore year while leading Sierra Canyon to a 33-1 record and the state championship. In her senior year, De Jesus put up 15 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
A full-blooded Filipina based in Valencia, Calif., De Jesus also received offers from Gonzaga, San Diego, and Washington.
De Jesus’ impressive resumé includes being named to the All-CIF Open Division 1st team and Gold Coast League MVP in 2020 ,and the the All-CIF Southern Section Co-Player of the Year in 2019.
This story was originally published in ABS-CBN Sports.