The Duke Blue Devils pulled out all the stops to land the best men’s high school basketball player in the country.
Marvin Bagley III, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the Class of 2018, announced Monday night he’ll reclassify up to Class of 2017, making him eligible to play college basketball this upcoming season. The 18-year-old then committed to Duke, where he’ll wear No. 35, which previously was retired for former Naismith Award winner Danny Ferry.
“I would like to thank Danny Ferry and Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) for allowing me to wear his retired No. 35 at Duke University,” Bagley said Monday night on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
The 18-year-old big man is heralded as a “once-in-a-generation talent,” a 6-foot-11, 220-pound power forward who excels inside and on the perimeter. Bagley averaged 24.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game last season as a junior at Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School, and recently competed alongside NBA stars like James Harden and Chris Paul in the Drew Summer League and tallied a double-double (18 points, 20 rebounds) in the league’s All-Star Game.
Bagley is a Tempe, Ariz., native but has roots in North Carolina; his father, Marvin Bagley Jr., grew up very close to Duke’s campus in Durham, N.C., and played football at North Carolina AT&T.
Bagley is the third No. 1 recruit Duke has signed in the last four years (along with Jahlil Okafor and Harry Giles) and immediately makes the Blue Devils title favorites; they now have 5-1 odds to win the 2018 national championship, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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