Jannah Tucker, a highly prized basketball recruit for Tennessee who originally decided not to enroll at the school because of personal reasons, has informed coach Holly Warlick that she will join the Lady Vols in January.
Tucker, the No. 8 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz rankings for the 2013 class who became the first underclassman to commit to Tennessee in the post-Pat Summitt era when she announced her decision in June 2012, will practice with the Lady Vols in January but is not expected to play this season.
"Tennessee has always been in my corner no matter what the circumstances may be," Tucker said. "Starting in the spring semester, I will be attending the University of Tennessee. I am so excited to officially be a Lady Vol, because they truly represent what family is all about. I am so appreciative for all the support I've gotten from everyone that is a part of UT, and I am extremely confident that UT is the best place for me to be."
Tucker, 18, originally was slated to enroll at Tennessee in July. However, it was recently revealed that Tucker didn't enroll at the school at that time because of physical abuse by her boyfriend.
"Jannah has been a Lady Vol for quite some time, but we are pleased that she officially will be joining the Tennessee family in January," Warlick said. "Our primary concerns are about her as a person and as a student. Basketball is secondary. Our staff and players welcome her with open arms and are humbled that she and her family have trusted us to be part of shaping her future."
Tucker recently detailed her personal tragedy.
"There were many instances of physical abuse this past summer, with the last occurring on Tuesday, September 24, 2013," Tucker said in a statement. "I was badly beaten and had several injuries. However, I was never in critical condition nor was I admitted to the hospital."
Baltimore County police arrested Josh Gerrard, 19, of Owings Mills, Md., on Sept. 25 after Tucker's mother told police that her daughter had sent several text messages on Sept. 24 -- including one of a photo of Tucker with a severely bruised left eye -- saying she had been hit by Gerrard and instructing her mother not to call police. According to the report, Tucker had wanted to meet her mother but was being held in the house by Gerrard. He has been charged with second-degree assault.
When police arrived at the home that Gerrard and Tucker had been sharing, they noticed a large bruise and a red mark on Tucker's left cheek and eye, according to the report. Tucker did not receive medical treatment, the police report said.
Gerrard told police he and Tucker "were just playing." Upon his arrival at the police station, Gerrard reportedly threatened to injure the person who reported him.
After the arrest, Tucker "got an emergency temporary protective order against the offender," she said in the statement. "That order was amended October 3rd becoming a permanent protective order which will be in effect for one year."
Tucker and Gerrard had been dating for two years and living together for three months, the police report said.
Tucker spent part of the summer of 2012 winning a gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA Americas in Puerto Rico, but she injured her knee during the tournament. She signed with Tennessee in November but sat out her senior season, nursing her knee injury.
Featuring Tucker, Mercedes Russell (the No. 1 prospect in the 2013 class) and Jordan Reynolds (No. 42), Tennessee's 2013 class was ranked No. 3 in the nation.