Class of 2023 forward Janae Walker commits to Kentucky WBB

On3 imageby:Zack Geoghegan05/07/23

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Kyra Elzy has made her first major move of the offseason.

On Sunday, Janae Walker, a class of 2023 forward out of Georgia, announced through her Instagram that she has committed to the Kentucky women’s basketball program. The 6-foot-4 Walker was recently a Gardner-Webb pledge, but backed off that decision on April 10 to reopen her recruitment. Kentucky immediately jumped on the opportunity, getting Walker on campus for an official visit two weekends ago before ultimately locking in a commitment.

Walker is an under-the-radar prospect that averaged 20.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.3 blocks per outing as a senior for Sandy Creek (GA) High School in 2022-23. She was named the Region 5 Class AAA Player of the Year as a result. Walker chose the Wildcats over Southern California, Wisconsin, and Syracuse.

“The Big Blue Nation is going to love Janae,” Coach Elzy said in UK’s press release. “She is an ambitious, focused and talented player who is ready to get right to work. She is a competitor and plays with a chip on her shoulder, which will fit the personality of this team. Janae has great size, athleticism and versatility, which will help make us more dynamic in the post. The coaching staff and I are thrilled to have Janae in Lexington this summer!”

It’s been a slow-moving offseason for Elzy and company so far, but adding Walker into the fold is a nice momentum boost. She’s a versatile forward who can stretch the floor out to the 3-point arc and is also capable of defending multiple positions on the other end of the floor. Walker posted 17 consecutive double-doubles during her senior season and finished her high school career with over 1,000 points.

One writer over at Prep Hoops noted that Walker “could be a major steal.”

Photo by Eddie Justice | UK Athletics
Photo by Eddie Justice | UK Athletics
Photo by Eddie Justice | UK Athletics

Walker will join fellow incoming freshman Jordy Griggs, a four-star guard out of California, to make up Kentucky’s 2023 class. So far this offseason, the Wildcats have seen two players transfer out of the program, Jada Walker (Baylor) and Kennedy Cambridge (undecided), along with the graduations of Robyn Benton, Blair Green, and Adebola Adeyeye.

With Walker and Griggs joining the team, that puts Kentucky at 12 players on the roster for the 2023-24 season, including Nyah Leveretter, who is expected to miss time into the season due to a torn ACL. Kentucky also expects to get back center Tionna Herron, a highly-regarded former four-star prospect who missed all of her freshman campaign due to heart surgery.

Walker has all the makings to be a major steal for Elzy. She’ll make for a nice addition to next season’s squad.

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2024-04-22