LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former NC State center Nae Nae Cole, who was a four-star, top-100 recruit out of high school according to ESPN.com, has joined the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program and is planning to report to campus this summer, Matthew Mitchell announced Tuesday.
Prior to NC State, Cole had a tremendous career at Paul VI Catholic High School, helping the Panthers win their ninth straight state championship title her senior season. Along the way, Cole was tabbed first-team All-Western Catholic Athletic Conference and a McDonald’s All-American nominee. ESPN HoopGurlz ranked Cole as the No. 100 overall prospect in the 2015 class as a four-star recruit and the 16th-best post player in the class. The center, who was second on her team in scoring as a senior averaging over 11 points per game, was ranked 33rd in the 2015 class by Blue Star Report.
“We are very excited that Nae Nae Cole has decided to finish her collegiate career with us at Kentucky,” said Mitchell, who will be entering his 12th season as Kentucky’s head coach this fall. “She is a talented player with many gifts. Her leadership ability and desire to develop her game will be a tremendous asset to our program.”
Cole’s full name is Jonquanae Cole. She begins her time in Lexington as a senior academically but will have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules. She will have one year of eligibility left for the 2019-20 season.
A native of Gainesville, Va., Cole played in 61 career games for the Wolfpack from 2015 to 2018 averaging 7.0 minutes per game during her career. As a freshman, Cole played in 18 games averaging 1.8 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-3 center had her best year in 2016-17, playing in 24 games and averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game while hitting 63 percent from the field. Last season, Cole played in 19 games averaging 3.9 minutes.