Adelaide Jernigan crossed a significant barrier in her basketball journey Saturday.
The 5-foot-10 smooth lefty shooter from Winston-Salem, NC, unofficially visited NC State on Saturday and earned her first ACC offer. The offer from NC State coach Wes Moore Wasn’t too surprising, but like a cherry on top of what has turned out to be a special last year.
Jernigan helped lead Kernersville (NC) Bishop McGuinness to the NCHSAA 1A state title, with 16 points, six steals and three three-pointers in a 70-42 win over Windsor (NC) Bertie High at Reynolds Coliseum at NC State.
Jernigan followed that up with a successful spring and summer with the Winston-Salem (NC) Stealers traveling team, which helped her become one of just seven class of 2025 prospects invited to the USA under-17 trials May 26-June 1 in Colorado Springs. , Colo.
“It was definitely a big, big year for me and my team,” Jernigan said. “It was a lot of emotions, some good and some bad, but at the end, it was all high. It was a feeling to win, especially in Reynolds Coliseum.”
The experiences helped put her on NC State’s radar and she enjoyed interacting with Moore and the new assistant coach Ashley Williams.
“She is very outgoing, kind and really puts forth the effort that she wants to talk and recruit you,” said Jernigan who just turned 16. “She is so easy to have a conversation with and re-connect really well. You can tell how much she cares about the game and her passion. That really caught my eye.”
Jernigan said she saw Coach Williams often at her games during the evaluation periods this past summer, and then Coach Moore arrived at 7:15 am to watch her practice at Bishop McGuinness in September.
“It was definitely a very big honor to be offered by him and be with his staff and players,” Jernigan said. “It meant a lot. For him to take the time to recruit me really means a lot. I was speechless when he first offered me and it was a great day.”
The fun Saturday started around 2 pm and Jernigan got a golf cart tour of NC State’s campus. She did some photos and talked to Moore in his office and then had dinner.
The day was capped off with watching Texas Tech at NC State football game at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Jernigan was able to take in the NC State home-game experience first-hand when the Wolfpack crushed Syracuse 95-53 on Feb. 20, 2022. She’s been following the program the last few years.
“I’ve been watching them since I was in the eighth grade or pretty much the seventh grade,” Jernigan said. “I’ve watched them win [the ACC Tournament] in 2020, 2021 and 2022. They are such an amazing program.”
Jernigan and former NC State star center Elissa Cunane are not similar players, but she can relate to the 6-5 center, who was from nearby Summerfield, NC, which is about 30 minutes from where Jernigan lives.
“She kind of has had the same path,” Jernigan said. “She signed with NC State and she is definitely a role model that I’ve followed around the area. She is definitely an icon around here, to say the least.”
Jernigan hopes to spend more time in the future around the players, who could be future teammates.
“I want to learn about their chemistry and how they work together on and off the court,” Jernigan said. “I want to see how they approach each day together because they are on the same journey.”
Jernigan has been steadily unofficially visiting colleges. She’s been to Notre Dame, Clemson, Davidson and NC State. Jernigan, who is playing tennis for her school this fall, hopes to take future unofficial visits to Michigan, Florida State, Wake Forest and North Carolina.
“It has been kind of busy right now, but I’m grateful for everything that is going on,” Jernigan said.
Jernigan didn’t make the final roster for the USA Basketball U17 squad, but she definitely came away with some invaluable experiences that will help her for the future. Being more vocal and more of a leader is one aspect she learned, but she did well playing both guard spots and shot well.
“That was a big honor,” Jernigan said. “It was an honor from my school too because they had watched film of when I played at Bishop McGuinness and AAU. To go out there and expand my game, but it wasn’t what I wanted, but I learned and grew as a player. It’s something I’ll cherish forever and grew as a player.”
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