Words by Jaida Patrick, as told to Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter
My first couple of year of high school I went to Long Island Lutheran. That was an amazing experience. The atmosphere was very rigorous and tough, but in a good way. Practices were long. The training aspect was intense and I loved it. I love my coach there as well. I ended up transferring for family reasons after my sophomore year.
Last year I transferred last year to Saddle River Day. That has been amazing as well. I’m really close to all the coaches and my teammates in the program. We had a pretty successful year as we won Non-Public. Last year was the furthest the team has went in school history.
I have been playing AAU basketball for the past couple of years on the New Jersey Sparks. I have played with the Sparks for three years. It has been an amazing experience. My first year on the EYBL I had to play more of a forward position, but this year I played my true position at guard. I was able to showcase all my skills fully. Playing for the Sparks is a challenge, but I embraced it fully.
Playing on the Nike EYBL circuit is amazing. The girls on the EYBL circuit are crazy athletic. The talent level you see on the court is something you can’t find on any other level. If you want to play at an elite college against the best talent than the EYBL does the best job preparing you for that.
I first noticed a serious uptick in my recruiting last year at Boo Williams. A lot of coaches began reaching out to my coach at the time. When I started hearing back from numerous big time programs I thought, “wow, I must have something here, I must be a pretty good player.” It made me feel good that the hard work paid off. Seeing all those letters in the fall of the following year really made me happy.
I didn’t announce a top 5 in my process. I kept things low key. We did think about a couple schools, but one always stood out. I decided to go to Duke University. For starters, the academic environment at Duke was perfect. Duke was always a dream school of mine. I went on a visit and it was amazing. I love the coaching staff. I’m super excited to play in the ACC as well.
I want to say thanks for my parents for always being there for me. My mom is at every tournament. My dad has always been in my corner and there training me. They are my rock and the reason why I am where I am today.
Go Blue Devils,