Duke basketball program adds nephew of former WNBA MVP

Duke basketball (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball has a player with relatives who played in the NBA and WNBA.

Although Kale Catchings was only a three-star recruit in 2018 and now isn’t likely to see much playing time for the 2022-23 Duke basketball team, his addition to the roster gives the Blue Devils an extra dose of experienced depth on the wing.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound small forward out of Harvard, where he played for former Duke player and assistant Tommy Amaker, revealed his transfer as a grad student to the powerhouse in Durham on Tuesday.

In his third year of college ball — no Ivy League teams took part in the 2020-21 season — Catchings drew 24 starts last go-round for a Crimson squad that finished No. 6 in the conference. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field, 36.5 percent beyond the arc, and 56.1 percent from the charity stripe.

His aunt is Tamika Catchings, a former four-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and WNBA MVP (2011). And his grandfather is Harvey Catchings, a big man who lasted 11 seasons in the NBA from 1974 to 1985.

Here’s what Kale Catchings told Joe Tipton of On3 about his decision to finish out his college career at Duke:

“I chose Duke because it is the opportunity of a lifetime. To be able to partner a first-class master’s degree along with the chance to compete at the highest level of college basketball in my final year of eligibility is a dream come true. I look forward to bringing my experience and grit to the storied program as we strive to hang another banner.”

Kale Catchings has one year of eligibility remaining and can play right away for the Blue Devils because this is his first time transferring to another school.

At least half a dozen more Duke basketball newbies in store

Unless Trevor Keels ultimately decides to pull his name out of the 2022 NBA Draft, head coach Jon Scheyer and his staff will return only three players who arrived in Durham on scholarship. They are sophomore-to-be point guard Jaylen Blakes, junior point guard Jeremy Roach, and fifth-year small forward Joey Baker.

Meanwhile, Duke’s top-ranked incoming recruiting class consists of six guys: four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt, five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, five-star small forward Mark Mitchell, five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski, five-star center Dereck Lively II, and three-star center Christian Reeves.

Expect another transfer or two to join the mix in the coming days or weeks.

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