Maplewood Woman Signed to St. John's Basketball Team
Head women's basketball coach Joe Tartamella announced that top 100 recruits Aaliyah Lewis and Jade Walker each signed their National Letter of Intent (NLI) to become the first official commitments to join St. John's for the 2013-14 season.
The pair are the first to sign with St. John's during the early signing period. Both Lewis and Walker are ranked nationally in the ESPN HoopGurlz Top 100 list, and have played together for the Ring City Elite club team.
“We are excited to add both Aaliyah and Jade to the St. John's family,” remarked Tartamella. “They both represent what our University and basketball program are all about.”
Jade Walker • 6-1 • G/F • DePaul Catholic • Maplewood, N.J.
Also a four-star recruit, Walker is ranked No. 11 at her position and No. 63 nationally by ESPN HoopGurlz. Walker is noted for her size, skill and athleticism. At 6-1, Walker gave DePaul Catholic a dominant inside presence, giving room for the outside shooters. She can shoot from mid-range, and also has clever ball-handling skills.
“Jade has the ability to contribute immediately in our program,” said Tartamella. “Her skill set allows her to be a threat from anywhere on the floor which makes her a tough matchup for the opposition. We are very excited about her future here at St. John's.”
As a junior at DePaul Catholic, the Maplewood, N.J. native averaged 17.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.0 per game, and entering her senior year, she is 45 points shy of the 1,000-point plateau. In the Girls Group 4 Semifinal, Walker helped lead the Spartans to a 61-60 victory over the Holy Angels with a game-best 21 points (March 10, 2012). In the finals, Walker led DePaul with 11 points, six rebounds.
Walker averaged 15.6 points as a sophomore and was named the JerseySportsNow.com Player of the Year, while DePaul was named the websites’s Team of the Year. Walker transferred to DePaul after playing her first two seasons at Columbia High School. As a elementary school player, Walker could not find a girls team to join, so she played boys’ basketball until seventh grade. She has played everything from point guard to center.
Bodine from ESPN describes Walker as having “nice size and upper body strength at the wing. [She] excels at driving baseline in traffic and finishing [and] use[s] length and speed to defend down low and on the perimeter.”
Notes Derek McKeiver for FullCourt.com, “[Jade Walker is] One of the most sought-after post players in the state of New Jersey from the 2013 class ... Jade has shown some good improvement on her handle and is really stretching her game away from the basket.”
Walker also considered Seton Hall, North Carolina State and Michigan State.