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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Basketball teams add new members to its programs

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Marquette men’s and women’s basketball head coaches Shaka Smart and Megan Duffy welcomed five combined class of 2024 recruits who signed their national letters of intent Wednesday.

The Golden Eagles announced two additions on the men’s side with forwards Damarius Owens and Royce Parham.

“They’re Marquette guys, they’re guys that fit in with who we want to be, our culture, they value relationships, they put incredible time and energy and effort into growth,” Smart said. “And they care about winning. They’re winning guys. They value winning, they’re mad when they don’t win. They’re really, really excited when they do.

“And that’s what we’re trying to create here. It’s a lot easier to be that and create that when you have guys that come in that way.”

On the women’s side, Marquette added forward Kayl Petersen, and guards Leila Wells and Jaeda Wilson.

“It’s a great day to welcome the newest members of our Golden Eagle Family in Kayl Petersen, Leila Wells, and Jaeda Wilson,” Duffy said in a release from Marquette Athletics. “All three student-athletes have been winners on and off the court. We look forward to watching them impact Marquette over the next four years.”

Smart’s two recruits are roommates

Owens and Parham, who make Marquette’s class of 2024 the No. 32 class in the country on 247Sports, are high school roommates at Western Reserve Academy.

“They value relationships. First and foremost they’re roommates,” Smart said. “So they work hard every day to make each other better. They balance each other out in certain ways. They really value getting better growth, they care about our guys already.”

Owens, the No. 55 ranked recruit in 247Sports composite rankings, was the first of the two to commit to Smart in February. He took his official visit in January and committed a month later.

“Damarius has really taken a huge jump,” Smart said. “It’s one of the things we appreciated about the high school live periods in June, we get a chance to see guys with their high school team. You know, we fell in love with them at that point. And then his junior season he just kept getting better and better, and then had a terrific AAU season as well.”

The 6-foot-8 forward was a first team all-league honoree as a junior for Western Reserve Academy after averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Parham, who joined Owens at Western Reserve Academy this year, spent three seasons at North Hills High School, where averaged 28.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game last year and was named a two-time all-state honoree.

“He’s got versatility where he can play out on the floor. But he also can be the one handling the ball, triggering actions, flashing and getting catches, he’s a good passer,” Smart said. “He’s developing into a really good shooter, even since he’s been at Western Reserve, he’s shooting the ball better and better.”

Duffy secures her highest-ranked recruit at Marquette

Petersen is listed as the No. 67 player on ESPNW’s class of 2024 recruiting rankings, making her Duffy’s highest-ranked and second in-state recruit at Marquette after former guard Emily La Chapell, who transferred to Belmont this past summer.

“We have watched Kayl win a high school state championship and solidify her place as one of the top players on the Nike EYBL circuit with Wisconsin Flight Elite,” Duffy said. “Her versatility and skill set continues to grow each year. Marquette fans will love her blue-collar work ethic, relentless rebounding, and ability to score inside and out.”

The 6-foot-0 forward is the fourth-highest recruit in Wisconsin for her class and earned East Central Conference Player of the Year and AP All-State honors after her junior season. She is a 1,000-point scorer for Waupun High School and helped her school win the Division 3 State Title in 2022, becoming ECC Co-Player of the Year.

Petersen verbally committed to Marquette in October 2022.

Wells, a 5-foot-9 guard scored over 1,000 points in her first three seasons at Chelsea High School, where she was also the 2022 100m hurdles state champion.

“Leila brings an incredible toughness and hard-nosed mentality to Marquette Basketball,” Duffy said. “She’s been the glue on her AAU Team Legends U with her ability to impact winning. Leila can wreak havoc on the defensive end and single handedly change the tempo of a game. Fans will love her ability to knock down the three and use her dynamic athleticism to get downhill.”

Wells announced her commitment in July.

Wilson, the second guard to commit, comes to Marquette from Connelly School of the Holy Child, where she earned both All-Private School and All-Montgomery County Newcomer of the Year 2022. She committed in April.

“Jaeda can play multiple positions and brings tremendous excitement to the game of basketball,” Duffy said. “We love that Jaeda will be able to score at all three levels and has been successful in a talent-rich area in the DMV.”

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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