After the first four games of the 2020-2021 season, the Duke women's basketball team made the tough decision to opt out of the rest of the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among those who missed out was Fil-Am freshman Vanessa De Jesus, who even made an immediate impact and averaged 12 points per game. Now a sophomore, she says she's ready to show even more of her A game.
"I’m just so excited to get out there and showcase more. Like last year, we didn’t have that many games so finally the time has come," De Jesus shares.
After spending the past year staying in condition and bonding with teammates, De Jesus is building on her shooting skills. In her limited games, she hit six out of her 12 three-point attempts. This season, the NCAA will move the three-point line from 20 feet, 9 inches to 22 feet, 1 and 3/4 inch.
"I definitely worked on my three-point game more because the line extended. But I already had that range so I just worked on it more. And also being a great playmaker [and] getting it to my teammates, their tendencies on the court, so I know where to find them, and the best places to put me in the position to do my best," De Jesus says.
Another possible difference maker this upcoming season will be the return of fans. During their four games last year, the Blue Devils played in an empty stadium.
"Just having those fans in there will bring all the energy," De Jesus points out. "I'm just really excited to finally be able to play in front of that crowd, just being in the moment, being in that atmosphere to play at Duke because I think the crowd makes a huge difference in the game and I'm just so excited to finally be a part of it."
Duke tips off the season on November 4 against Wingate.