Five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead announced his commitment to play for the Blue Devils on Sunday night. Whitehead’s commitment is the first five-star player incoming head coach Jon Scheyer has recruited. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound wing narrowed his choices to Florida State, Kansas, Auburn and Florida before choosing Durham as his future home.
Whitehead on his decisions
“Growing up, Duke has always been the school of my dreams,” Whitehead told ESPN. “I loved Coach K, the style of play and the type of players he recruited. Once my recruiting process began, I started having mixed feelings seeing all the other opportunities out there. I was getting so much love from different schools it made my decision hard. It wasn’t until my official visit, the moment I stepped foot on campus, I knew Duke was home.”
Although Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will be retiring in the 2021-22 season, Whitehead explained he is confident in both Coach K and Coach Scheyer to develop him as a player and can’t wait to play under them.
“Coach K told me he will still be there for me to help me. That meant a lot to me,” Whitehead said. “Everyone sees him as this serious coach. I mean, he is serious about the game. But he is a very funny guy.
“[Scheyer] played and coached with Coach K. I have been impressed with him and believe in him.”
Whitehead has also revealed recently that he had a $500,000 offer to play in the G-League next season but opted to play in college instead.
“I recently had a Zoom call with Rod Strickland and Shareef Abdur-Rahim,” Whitehead said. He said he was, “grateful for their offer to be a max player in the G League. I was truly blessed for the G League offer. They gave the offer the day before I was supposed to commit and I didn’t have much time to really think on it as much as I got to think about going to college.”
As a 6-foot-6 small forward from New Jersey who attends Montverde Academy (Florida), Dariq is currently the No. 3 small forward, behind elite prospect Emoni Bates and Chris Livingston. Whitehead is one of the most well-rounded players in his class. He’s known for his creative ability to finish in the paint, but he can also put the ball on the floor and score at all three levels. Last season at Montverde, Whitehead averaged 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals and played a pivotal role in helping the team win the program’s fifth GEICO High School National Championship.
The 17-year-old star is coming off of an outstanding summer with Team Durant where he showed tremendous all-around ability that compliments his elite athleticism. His playmaking abilities shone through over the summer. He averaged 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. This includes an impressive 26-point, 12-rebound, four-assist performance against UPlay Canada.
Whitehead will be joining an elite group of players at Duke next season including four-star power forward Kyle Filipowski, who committed earlier this week. Filipowski ranks No. 33 overall and will be a solid addition to the team. Besides Whitehead and Mitchell, four others from the class hold Duke basketball offers: five-star center Dereck Lively, four-star point guard JJ Starling, four-star guard Anthony Black, and three-star guard Jaden Schutt.
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