Alex Schwartz, Connecticut Recruiting, Duke Recruiting, Kentucky Recruiting, North Carolina State Recruiting, Ohio State Recruiting, Temple Recruiting, Villanova Recruiting
DUKE FLIRTATION WITH AMILE JEFFERSON TURNS TO FULL COURTSHIP
by Alex Schwartz
WEST CHESTER, PA – Amile Jefferson, a 6-foot-8 power forward out of Friends Central (PA), is one of the nation’s elite basketball players in the class of 2012. In addition, he is one of the few top flight players still uncommitted.
Although Jefferson’s recruitment seemed fairly clear recently in terms of final options and perceived frontrunners, one school is making a late play for the senior: Duke University.
NBE was on hand Tuesday night at Westtown School (PA) on Tuesday for the showdown between Jefferson and Villanova-bound center Daniel Ochefu. Also in the stands were Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Chris Collins, sitting just a few rows behind the Friends Central bench.
In addition to the representatives from Duke, there were at least three other coaches in the stands. Villanova head coach Jay Wright was in attendance, as was his assistant, Billy Lange. Rider also dispatched a coach to West Chester, as assistant Mike Witcoskie was also just behind the FCS bench.
Current Villanova players James Bell, Darrun Hilliard and Markus Kennedy as well as ex-Wildcat Mike Nardi were also there to see the game, which was a thriller. Westtown blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and the game went to overtime . . . and then to double overtime . . . and then triple overtime, when Westtown finally pulled out a 54-52 victory.
After the contest, NBE caught up with Jefferson to discuss the recent interest from Duke and his recruitment as a whole.
“They got in touch with me and my father,” Jefferson said of Duke. “They had been looking [at me during my] . . . sophomore year . . . The school speaks for itself.”
Jefferson said that the Blue Devils have indeed offered him a scholarship. On whether he will visit the Tobacco Road campus, he remarked, “We haven’t decided yet.”
The City of Brotherly Love star has previously tripped to Durham, N.C., so he does have some familiarity with the Duke campus already.
“It means a lot,” Jefferson said of Krzyzewski coming out to his game. “He’s a great guy, he’s the best at what he does.”
Although Jefferson does not have a timetable for a commitment, he could start to make some headway towards a choice in the near future.
“I’m still taking my time, [but I may want to] make one soon, so I need to sit down with my father,” Jefferson said.
Is the potential McDonald’s All-American beginning to get stressed out by the recruiting process?
“A little bit, but not really,” Jefferson said. “I got to worry about the season; I got a lot on my mind.”
Asked if there are any schools he feels he may fit in the best with, Jefferson replied, “No, I just [really] watch a lot of basketball. All schools I feel I can fit in [at].”
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