“Rising up, Duke has at all times been the varsity of my goals,” Whitehead advised ESPN. “I beloved Coach Ok, the type of play and the kind of gamers he recruited. As soon as my recruiting course of started, I began having blended emotions seeing all the opposite alternatives on the market. I used to be getting a lot love from totally different faculties it made my determination exhausting. It wasn’t till my official go to, the second I stepped foot on campus, I knew Duke was residence.”
The G League prolonged a suggestion to Whitehead on Saturday to hitch its Ignite crew, reportedly value $500,000.
“I lately had a Zoom name with Rod Strickland and Shareef Abdur-Rahim,” Whitehead mentioned. “I used to be grateful for his or her provide to be a max participant within the G League. I used to be actually blessed for the G League provide. They gave the provide the day earlier than I used to be alleged to commit and I did not have a lot time to actually suppose on it as a lot as I obtained to consider going to varsity.”
A 6-foot-6 small ahead from New Jersey who attends Montverde Academy (Florida), Whitehead is ranked No. 6 general within the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class. He is the No. three small ahead, behind elite prospect Emoni Bates and versatile wing Chris Livingston. Whitehead was excellent for Workforce Durant on the Nike EYBL circuit this summer season, averaging 16.5 factors, 6.zero rebounds and three.zero assists — together with a 26-point, 12-rebound, four-assist effort in opposition to fellow top-10 recruit Shaedon Sharpe and UPlay Canada.
Whitehead has developed into some of the full and well-rounded prospects within the class. He is a high-level athlete who possesses a burst within the open ground and explosiveness when attacking the rim.
His recreation begins with protection. At Montverde, guarding the likes of Scottie Barnes, Caleb Houstan, Cade Cunningham and others has turned him right into a dedicated defender. Whitehead excels as a swap defender who can preserve the ball in entrance or chase a shooter off a display screen to contest photographs.
An energetic rebounder, he’ll take it off the glass and be a playmaker within the open ground. He owns the mindset, bodily instruments and expertise to be a centerpiece of Duke’s roster subsequent yr and a projected first-round decide within the 2023 NBA draft.
Whitehead is Duke’s second top-20 dedication since Thursday, when No. 20-ranked senior Kyle Filipowski dedicated to the Blue Devils. Filipowski was Scheyer’s first recruit since being named Mike Krzyzewski’s substitute in early June. Scheyer is taking on as coach-in-waiting, with Krzyzewski set to teach the 2021-22 season earlier than stepping down.
“Coach Ok advised me he’ll nonetheless be there for me to assist me. That meant loads to me,” Whitehead mentioned. “Everybody sees him as this critical coach. I imply, he’s critical concerning the recreation. However he’s a really humorous man.
“[Scheyer] performed and coached with Coach Ok. I’ve been impressed with him and imagine in him.”
With two seniors on this season’s roster, plus three underclassmen projected in ESPN’s newest 2022 mock draft, Duke is way from completed within the 2022 class. The Blue Devils provided summer season breakout guard Jaden Schutt in July and have positioned themselves properly in his recruitment, whereas five-star frontcourt prospects Dereck Lively and Mark Mitchell visited Durham in June. They’re additionally in pursuit of top-50 prospect JJ Starling.