This edition of “This Week in Women’s Basketball” serves as an opportunity to catch up on early signing period decisions by some of the top prospects in the class of 2024.
Class of 2024 makes college commitments
Over the past few weeks, a number of highly-ranked prospects have announced their college choices during the early signing period. And it looks like Dawn Staley is doing it again!
No. 1 South Carolina projects to remain scary for seasons to come, with 6-foot-2 forward Joyce Edwards, the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2024 according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz, electing to remain in her home state and play for the Gamecocks. Edwards selected South Carolina over Clemson and LSU. She joins two other top 30 recruits who already committed to South Carolina in point guard Madisen McDaniel (No. 12) and big Adhel Tac (No. 26).
Out on the West Coast, USC and head coach Lindsay Gottlieb continue to attract top talent, with 6-foot-1 wing Kennedy Smith, the No. 1 recruit in California and No. 6 nationally, committing to the Women of Troy. She chose USC over South Carolina, UCLA, Duke and Louisville. USC also added New York guard Kayleigh Heckel, the No. 28 recruit in the class of 2024.
Can’t wait to see Kennedy hoop at Galen pic.twitter.com/30C0g50MUi— USC Women's Basketball (@USCWBB) November 14, 2023
One of the highest profile commitments came from Me’arah O’Neal, daughter of Shaquille O’Neal. The 6-foot-3 big who is the No. 33 prospect in the 2024 class is headed to the Swamp, suiting up for head coach Kelly Rae Finley’s Florida Gators. O’Neal opted for Florida over LSU, Tennessee, Arizona State, Baylor, Kentucky, Cal and Georgia Tech.
SOUND UP : @MeArahONeall announces her commitment to @GatorsWBK. @SHAQ was in attendance. Me’Arah told me she knew as soon as she visited that @FloridaGators was the place for her. @KHOU pic.twitter.com/ekZKTpgPnh— Zack Tawatari (@zacktKHOU) November 12, 2023
Other 2024 HoopGurlz top 10 prospects who already had announced their college choices are: No. 4 Allie Ziebell (UConn; guard), No. 5 Kateryna Koval (Notre Dame; big), No. 7 Justice Carlton (Texas; forward), No. 8 Jordan Lee (Texas; guard) and No. 9 Toby Fournier (Duke; forward).
FIVE STAR Toby Fournier just committed to DUKE pic.twitter.com/hy0ltG3oEm— Overtime (@overtime) May 17, 2023
The No. 1 recruit in the class of 2024—6-foot-2 forward Sarah Strong, who is the daughter of former WNBA and Harvard player Allison Feaster—has yet to disclose her decision. In October, Strong visited UConn; last weekend, she visited UNC. No. 3 prospect Jaloni Cambridge, a 5-foot-6 point guard, and No. 10 prospect Mikayla Blakes, a 6-foot-0 guard, also have yet to announce their intentions.
Looking ahead to 2025, 6-foot-4 forward Sienna Betts, the No. 3 recruit in the class, revealed she will join her sister Lauren, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2022, at UCLA. Lauren originally committed to Stanford before transferring to UCLA last offseason.
I just want to say that I chose ucla because my love for the program I had for years. Before Lauren being there. I was never following whatever program Lauren was at. Her success is her own and my dreams are my own too. Our paths crossing is just a fortunate part of it— Sienna Betts (@SiennaBetts) November 11, 2023
Please refer to me as Sienna’s sister from now on!!— lauren betts (@laurenbetts12) November 11, 2023
Lindsey Harding gets G-League win
Once a top women’s hoops prospect herself as the No. 1 pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft out of Duke, Lindsey Harding is now the head coach of the Stockton Kings, the G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. On Wednesday, Harding secured her first win, leading the Kings to a victory over the Salt Lake City Stars.