Head coach Jeff Walz has announced the addition of graduate transfer guard Kiki Jefferson on Thursday. Jefferson comes to the Cards from James Madison, where she played the first four years of her collegiate career and will be eligible for her final college season in 2023-24. During her four years at James Madison, she played 116 career games and scored 1,838 points.
“We are excited to announce the addition of grad-transfer Kiki Jefferson to the Louisville Cardinal Family,” said Walz. “At James Madison, Kiki was one of fifteen players named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List. Her career at JMU was filled with accolades as she was dubbed 2023 Sun Belt Player of the Year and Sun Belt Tournament MVP. She appeared on All-Conference teams four straight years and was named CAA Rookie of the Year.
“Kiki is a dynamic athlete who loves to get out and attack in transition,” stated Walz. “She is a gifted scorer who can punish opponents by getting to the free throw line at a rapid clip. Defensively, she has the ability to take on challenges and lock down her advisories. Kiki brings a diverse skill set and can play multiple positions with her 6-1 frame. Card Nation you will love the way this young woman takes care of business and plays with reckless abandon!”
Jefferson was a standout with James Madison and her name is littered throughout the Dukes record book after her four years. She finished her career at JMU ranking second in career free throws made (550), fifth in scoring average (15.8), sixth all-time in points (1,838), tied for sixth in free throw percentage (80.2), ninth in rebounds (815), tied for ninth in made field goals (518), and tied for 10th in three-point percentage (33.9).
In her final season with the Dukes, she was named the Sun Belt Player of the Year, First Team All-Sun Belt and earned Sun Belt Tournament Most Outstanding Player as she led James Madison to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016. Jefferson led the Sun Belt Conference in scoring at 18.3 points per game, while pulling down 8.1 rebounds per outing, good for fifth in the league.
She finished her senior campaign averaging 18.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting .429 percent from the field and .341 percent from behind the arc. She scored 20 or more points in 16 of her 34 games and had two 30-plus point performances against North Carolina and Old Dominion. She tallied nine double-doubles for the year and almost recorded the program’s first ever triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists against Coastal Carolina on Dec. 29. Jefferson was one of 10 players named a semifinalist for the 2023 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award.
In her junior season in 2021-22, she led the Dukes with a career-best 18.8 points per game to go with 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. She earned Second Team All-CAA honors after finishing third in the conference in scoring per game (18.8) and was eighth in rebounding per game (6.8). She was the 32nd Duke to score 1,000 points as she eclipsed the mark on Jan. 28 against Hofstra. She scored in double figures 26 times and tallied 20 or more points in 16 of her 29 games. She scored a career-high 32 points against James Madison and tallied a double-double with 31 points and 11 rebounds in the season-opening win over Virginia.
In her sophomore campaign, she played and started all 24 games for James Madison and led the team in scoring (16.2) and rebounding (7.8). The scoring ranked sixth in the CAA and she was seventh in the league in rebounding. She led all sophomores in the league in scoring and rebounding. Jefferson also led the Dukes with 26 steals, shot a team-best .349 percent (30-86) from three and .820 percent (114/139) from the free throw line. She had five double-doubles on the year and had a season-best 31 points to go with 11 rebounds in the CAA semifinals against Drexel. She earned First Team All-CAA honors and was named to the CAA All-Tournament team.
In her first year with the Dukes, she played in all 29 games and made 25 starts. She was third on the team with 9.8 points, second on the team with 5.6 rebounds and fourth with 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Jefferson was named CAA Rookie of the Year and earned conference Rookie of the Week honors nine times over the season. The nine selections were the second-most in conference history. In her first collegiate game against Longwood, she scored 17 points and added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Jefferson hails from Lancaster, Pa., and was a standout at Lancaster Catholic. She earned USA Today Pennsylvania Player of the Year honors, was named Pennsylvania Class 4A Player of the Year twice and PennLive’s Player of the Year twice. She guided Lancaster Catholic to an undefeated season during her junior year and won a state championship in 2018. Lancaster Catholic won 62-straight games during Jefferson’s time and she finished second in Lancaster Lebanon League history with 2,510 career points.
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