Duke basketball: Jahlil Okafor was leaning toward committing to Kansas

Duke basketball players Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball players Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Jahlil Okafor recently spoke about his college recruitment, and the National Champion explained how he was leaning towards committing to another program besides the Duke basketball team.

Try to imagine a world where Jahlil Okafor wasn’t a Duke basketball player.

Well, it almost happened as the National Freshman of the Year admitted on the latest episode of The Brotherhood Connect that he was leaning toward Kansas before pledging his allegiance to the Blue Devils.

Okafor told Duke’s Director of Basketball Operations Nolan Smith that it was Tyus Jones who convinced the big man to join the Blue Devils as the two had agreed early in their high school careers that they would be a package deal in college.

However, one school that Okafor said he was definitely not considering from early in his recruitment process was the Kentucky Wildcats because of how the school isolates the basketball players from the rest of the student body.

The eventual National Champion said that he wanted to interact with the rest of the freshman students in the dorms and not just be limited to his teammates in his college career.

Okafor’s comments came days after former Texas Longhorn Myles Turner said that he really wanted to play for the Blue Devils but didn’t commit to Mike Krzyzewski because the Chicago native had already committed.

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In his lone season in Durham, Okafor averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 66.4 percent from the floor en route to being named as the ACC Player and Rookie of the Year.

Okafor was also named as a consensus All-American in his freshman year.

Following Duke’s National Championship, Jahlil Okafor was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and is currently on the New Orleans Pelicans after making a stop in Brooklyn with the Nets.

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Jahlil Okafor will go down as one of the best Duke players in the history of the storied program, and it’s impossible to even imagine what the 2015 season would have been like if he ended up in Lawrence, Kansas over Durham, North Carolina.