When Kara Lawson put together her assistant staff two years ago, she did so by deliberately bringing together recruiters from all over the country. And for the second year in a row, Duke has secured a top talent from an often-overlooked part of the country.
Oluchi Okananwa, ESPN’s No. 27 prospect in the class of 2023, committed to Duke Thursday night. The 5-foot-9 guard from Worcester, Mass., announced her commitment at the YMCA in Peabody, Mass., and posted a statement to Twitter. Okananwa was also considering Michigan, Harvard, Mississippi State, Rutgers and TCU.
Okananwa is the second top-ranked Massachusetts player to commit to Duke in as many years, joining Shay Bollin, a Bridgewater native and ESPN’s No. 33 recruit in the 2022 class.
The Blue Devils join Arizona and South Carolina as the only teams to secure commitments from three of ESPN’s top 30 recruits for 2023. With No. 3 Jadyn Donovan and No. 27 Delaney Thomas also planning to don Duke blue, the only classes that measure up to Lawson’s are LSU’s (commitments from Nos. 2 and 7) and the Wildcats’ (Nos. 8, 14 and 21). The last time Duke brought in three top-30 recruits was 2014, when its vaunted class included Lyneé Belton, Sierra Calhoun and Azurá Stevens.
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