The Missouri State Lady Bears have landed the transfer of former Duke center Jennifer Ezeh.
The university announced Wednesday afternoon her signing after she spent her first two collegiate seasons at Duke. She should be eligible to play immediately.
“I’m so excited about Jennifer,” Agugua-Hamilton said in a release. “She is a strong, athletic 6-foot-3 center with good hands and feet who can run, rebound and finish inside.”
According to ESPN, Ezeh was a four-star recruit out of high school and was the No. 65 overall player in the 2019 class. At New Hope Academy (Maryland), she helped it win the GEICO Nationals championship as a senior where she averaged 15.5 points and 10.1 boards.
She did not play in her two seasons at Duke. She sat out the 2019-20 season due to a torn ACL. She then tore her other ACL in practice leading up to the 2020-21 season that Duke eventually opted out of due to COVID-19.
“Jennifer is a very selfless, high-character student-athlete who is pursuing a career in nursing,” Agugua-Hamilton added. “She was highly recruited out of high school and unfortunately had a rough start at Duke with her knee injuries. But there is no doubt in my mind that she will persevere and flourish under our tutelage. Blessed to have her in our Lady Bear Family.”
Ezeh will join a group of Missouri State newcomers that includes incoming freshmen Taylor Woodhouse, Isabelle Delarue and Lindsey Byers. She should contribute immediately to a frontcourt that is likely losing Emily Gartner due to graduation.
Ezeh should have all of her eligibility remaining with the likelihood she receives a medical-hardship waiver her senior year. The NCAA is expected to pass one-time immediate transfer legislation in the coming days.
She will join a frontcourt that’s led by First Team All Missouri Valley Conference standout Jasmine Franklin along with honorable mention selection Abby Hipp.
The Lady Bears also announced they will bring back Brice Calip, the reigning MVC Player of the Year, who is taking advantage of her bonus year.
Missouri State is coming off its second-straight Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament appearance. Expectations will remain high heading into the 2021-22 season with the bulk of its roster returning.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at [email protected] or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. You can subscribe to his free “Bears Beat” newsletter on News-Leader.com. He’s also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.