It’s official. Jahlil Okafor is headed to Duke. The Rivals.com No. 1 prospect ended months of speculation and chatter when he announced he would sign with the Blue Devils Friday afternoon, choosing Duke over Arizona, Baylor, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State. Okafor made his decision live on ESPNU from his Chicago high school, Whitney Young. The high school gymnasium was packed to the brim with his fellow students, local and national media, and of course his family -- all of whom were seated next to him. And even for a young athlete on the rise -- who has played in countless sold out arenas before -- the feeling of support was overwhelming for Okafor as he took the podium to address the crowd after making the official announcement. Panning the audience, he became very emotional as he began to thank his support system which included the student body, Dr. Joyce Kenner [Principal of Whitney Young], head coach Ty Slaughter, his family, and his mom who unfortunately passed when he was only a youngster. He went on to thank head coach Mike Krzyzewski for extending him the opportunity to play at such a prestigious university and made it a point to mention he was the reason why he chose the Blue Devils in the end. “It was Coach K in all honesty. He is the most winningest coach in basketball history and the most important thing to me is winning,” Okafor said. “I think I felt most comfortable with him helping me win a National Championship with Tyus [Jones] and on a personal note I would like to help him get his 1000th victory. So I think that was the tipping point of the scale for me.” Okafor is dubbed as the top post scorer in the 2014 class and acknowledged it is important to any big man to have a heady floor general with the ability to feed him in the paint. And the only floor general he had in mind was best friend and Team USA teammate Tyus Jones -- a top Minnesota point guard who simultaneously committed to Duke as well.
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Chicago native Jahlil Okafor chooses Duke
CSN Chicago | Nov 16