January 23, 2024 

Vanderbilt lands five-star commitment in Mikayla Blakes

Ranked No. 10 in the nation, she chose the Commodores over Indiana, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin

The Vanderbilt women’s basketball program landed a huge commitment Monday when 2024 five-star recruit Mikayla Blakes, ranked No. 10 in the nation, chose the Commodores over Indiana, Rutgers, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin. 

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“Coach Ralph just has such a great vision for the program,” Blakes told The Next. “Just to see them this year improving and continuing to win games, I’m just excited to be a part of that — to carry on winning and the tradition. She definitely built a relationship with me where she just trusts me, and I have a lot of trust in her. I feel like I can talk to her about anything.”

Blakes is a 6-foot guard from New Jersey who can do a little bit of everything. She’s quick and crafty, is an impressive shooter and can pass the ball well. She also boasts a stellar defensive skill set. 

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“I’ll definitely be able to fit in with their defensive energy,” Blakes said. “I love playing defense. They press and they love to create turnovers. I love doing that, and then just continuing to expand my game and make the SEC bump that they have. It’s one of the toughest conferences in the country.” 

Blakes was recently named a McDonald’s All-American nominee, as well as being named to the midseason watch list for the Naismith Player of the Year Award. This summer Blakes played for the Philly Rise on the U-17 Nike EYBL circuit and averaged 19.6 points per game, shooting 47% from the field with just eight turnovers and 25 steals. She joins 6’3 forward Trinity Wilson in the 2024 class. Wilson, a two-time all-conference selection at Lakeville North High School in Minnesota, signed with the Commodores on Nov. 8. 

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When Blakes was being recruited, she was searching for a family feel — and she’s found that in Vanderbilt. 

“I felt like they were my sisters,” Blakes added with a smile. “I can definitely grow as a person there and learn from them.” 

The Commodores are fourth in the SEC with a 17-3 record. They’re seeking their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014, and Blakes wants to be a part of the program’s resurgence. 

“I’m excited to grow as a player and hopefully help them win a national championship,” Blakes said. 

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Written by Talia Goodman

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