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Duke women's basketball's Kara Lawson earns first commitment with Class of 2022 guard Emma Koabel

New head coach Kara Lawson is already attracting top talent to Durham.
New head coach Kara Lawson is already attracting top talent to Durham.

The new era of Duke women’s basketball will officially tip off on the hardwood in two months, but the coaching staff’s effort on the recruiting side has been in the works since earlier this summer.

And today, they earned their first victory.

Emma Koabel, "one of the best [Class of 2022] players in Canada", announced her commitment to the Blue Devils on Instagram Friday afternoon. The 5-foot-10 guard is part of the Niagara Prep Basketball program and was also a member of Canada’s 2018 Jr. NBA World Championships team. Koabel is the Blue Devils' first commit for the Class of 2022.

“I am extremely honoured and excited to be going to such an illustrious institution, for both basketball and academics,” Koabel wrote on her Instagram announcement. “Playing at Duke University has been a dream of mine since I was young.”

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Blue Devil ? 2022? #commited

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The Port Colborne, Ontario native averaged 14.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in the 2019-20 season, according to her Niagara Prep YouTube highlights. On the defensive end, Koabel notched 4.3 steals and 0.6 blocks per game.

“I can’t wait to play for this school and the amazing coaching staff,” Koabel wrote. “I knew after speaking with Coach Lawson and the staff that it was meant to be.”

Koabel’s Niagara Prep profile notes her superior basketball IQ and versatility in the backcourt as two of her greatest strengths. In the classroom, Koabel has earned a “4.0 GPA with a 96 percent Academic Average.”

This announcement marks the first commitment in Duke head coach Kara Lawson’s time with the Blue Devils. Junior guard Jiselle Havas, who played at Lafayette for the past two years, joined the program this fall as a walk-on, per a team release Wednesday.

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