Former John Curtis, Tulane standout JerKaila Jordan transferring to Mississippi State

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JerKaila Jordan

JerKaila Jordan, who was named American Athletic Conference freshman of the year following perhaps the best rookie season in Tulane women’s basketball history, is headed to the Southeastern Conference.

Five days after entering the transfer portal and indicating she was looking to “bring my talents to a bigger conference,” Jordan announced on Twitter Wednesday night she is headed to Mississippi State.

The university also announced Jordan’s transfer.

Jordan joined former high school teammates Dynah Jones and Salma Bates in staying home to play for the Green Wave after leading John Curtis to four consecutive Division I state titles (the Lady Patriots won their fifth straight earlier this month). She was named Louisiana’s Miss Basketball in 2019-20.

This season, Jordan averaged a team-best 16.7 points per game and scored 450 points, setting Tulane freshman records for both, in helping Tulane to an 18-9 record, a fourth-place finish in the American and a trip to the second round of the Women’s NIT.

Jordan shot 47.7 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from three-point range and 71.1 percent from the free throw line. She was named the conference’s freshman of the week a remarkable seven times.

At Mississippi State, Jordan will face a roster in transition under head coach Nikki McCray-Penson. Six players on this season’s Bulldog team have entered the transfer portal.

“JerKaila is a high character, hardworking, blue-collar player that has proven to be a very efficient scorer against multiple defenses,” McCray-Penson said in the release. “She was the freshman of the year in a competitive conference, and we think she’s going to be able to help us both offensively and defensively. She is coming in with the mentality that she wants to win and help us compete for championships.”

State went 10-9 in McCray-Penson’s first season after she replaced Vic Schaefer, who left for the head coaching job at Texas. Schaefer turned the Bulldogs into a national power, reaching the national championship game in 2017 and 2018, capturing a pair of SEC regular-season titles and winning 27 or more games in six consecutive seasons.

Coincidentally, Schaefer’s first NCAA appearance at State was a 57-47 victory over Tulane in the first round of the 2014 tournament in Durham, North Carolina.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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