Gifted 15-year-old treasures Duke basketball offer, plans to visit

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

A rising high school junior, who will soon begin scheduling visits, said he understands the significance of his receiving an offer from the Duke basketball staff two months prior to his 16th birthday.

Only two weeks have passed since college coaches could begin blowing up 2021 recruits’ cell phones, and Duke basketball target A.J. Griffin has already had to switch numbers.

Of course, so long as the five-star small forward continues to excite crowds with his golden game, the bombardment of texts won’t stop.

Six days after scoring 18 points on June 9 to lead the USA team to a gold-medal victory at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship, offers from powerhouses like Michigan and Villanova began rolling in for the 6-foot-7, 200-pound deft playmaker from White Plains, N.Y. (he attends Archbishop Stepinac).

One offer in particular, though, forced Griffin to recognize just how prized his talent has become.

"“To get a Duke offer at 15 years old, that feels amazing,” he told Adam Zagoria on Friday night at a camp he had to sit out of due to a strained back, which will also keep him from participating with his AAU team at Peach Jam next month.“Only one other person in my class has [a Duke offer], and that’s Patrick Baldwin. Just to be one of the two, that’s incredible.”"

ALSO READ: Top 2021 prospect could cap off Coach K’s career

Wherever there is a Duke offer, though, a Kentucky offer is almost always nearby.

More from Ball Durham

According to Griffin, who admitted to being fond of the program in Lexington, Wildcats head honcho John Calipari recently made his high school coach aware of his increasing interest.

"“I’m really interested in them, so it would be nice to see them [extend an offer],” said Griffin, whose dad, Adrian, starred for Seton Hall in the mid-90s prior to his mediocre nine-year NBA career and nowadays serves as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors.“That’s one of the things I like about [Calipari and his staff], is that they get [players] ready for the NBA the first year. That’s something I look forward to trying to do and just improve my game.”"

Griffin, who ranks No. 8 on the 247Sports Composite, sports a game resembling a mashup of two former one-and-done Blue Devils: R.J. Barrett, due to his supreme confidence in his nimble drives and soft touch in the lane, and national-champion Justise Winslow, due to a brawny frame that will make him a candidate to fill in at either forward position in college if need be.

As for choosing a college, Griffin told Zagoria he’s leaving his recruitment “open for right now” but will soon start making visits — including one to Duke, he said — and then figure out which one “feels right.”

Although Griffin and Baldwin — a 6-foot-8 small forward who ranks No. 1 on the composite — are the only 2021 prospects with Duke offers, Mike Krzyzewski and his staff took advantage of their recent freedom to text and call rising juniors by reaching out to power forward Paolo Banchero, who ranks No. 5, as well as shooting guard Terrence Clarke, who ranks No. 3.

No 2021 five-stars have yet to commit to any school.

dark. Next. Five Duke streaks in jeopardy

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting updates, analyses, opinions, and predictions.