Ohio State and Duke graduates are the first official coaching hires for new head coach Kevin McGuff
Joy Cheek is in her third season as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Kevin McGuff's staff in 2015-16. A 2010 graduate of Duke University, Cheek came to Columbus after spending two seasons as an assistant and co-recruiting coordinator at her alma mater.
"Joy Cheek is one of the brightest and most talented young coaches in all of college basketball," McGuff said. "With her pedigree as an outstanding player and coach at Duke she has the necessary experience to immediately impact our program. In her role as recruiting coordinator she puts us in position to attract the type of student-athletes that will allow us to compete at the highest level of women's basketball. Joy also is an outstanding young woman who will be a terrific mentor to the young people in our program."
In her first season at Ohio State, Cheek helped land a consensus Top 5 recruiting class with four ESPN Top 100 signees, headlined by McDonald's All-American Kelsey Mitchell. She also helped land two Top 35 players from the previous year in transfers Kianna Holland (Duke) and Shayla Cooper (Georgetown). Cheek's second recruiting class of Kaylan Pugh (No. 26 overall recruit) and Theresa Ekhelar in 2015 was ranked No. 22 in the country by ProspectNation.
Cheek has also been instrumental in working with the Buckeye post players and aided in the emergence of Alexa Hart during the 2014-15 season.
At Duke, Cheek served as one of two recruiting coordinators in addition to working with the perimeter players. Upon graduating from Duke in 2010 with a degree in public policy, Cheek played professionally in the WNBA and overseas before being hired as an assistant coach by Joanne McCallie in 2011.
"I am really excited for the opportunity to join Coach McGuff's staff," Cheek said. "It was very hard to leave my alma mater, but this is a wonderful opportunity and I know I am coming to a great school and a great program. Coach McGuff has had success everywhere he has been, is highly respected in the coaching profession and is someone I can learn from. I have always heard nothing but great things about Kevin and I am excited to get started and help take the Ohio State program to the highest level."
The 35th overall selection in the 2010 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever, Cheek played in seven contests for the Fever before traveling overseas to play in Leszno, Poland. After signing a brief contract with the Washington Mystics to open the 2011 WNBA season, Cheek was prepared to play in Spain before accepting the job at Duke.
One of 26 former Duke standouts to register more than 1,000 career points, Cheek played in 137 contests in her four years in Durham. A four-year letterwinner from 2007-10, she owns career averages of 8.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals. As a senior, Cheek averaged 9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists as she started all 36 contests for the Blue Devils. She was named to the Memphis Regional All-Tournament team, All-ACC Tournament First Team, All-ACC Third Team and was a finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., Cheek was an ACC Honor Roll selection in 2008-09. In the summer of 2009, she performed an internship in the Office of the Vice President and Economic Policy at the White House. Following graduation from Duke, Cheek had the honor of introducing Vice President Joe Biden prior to making an announcement about Title IX on April 20, 2010.