Duke basketball recruiting: 4 fantastic facts about Dariq Whitehead

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The second fantastic fact about Duke basketball commit Dariq Whitehead

FACT: Whitehead has remained at the same prep school, far from home, since the eighth grade.

As a mere 13-year-old, Whitehead enrolled at Montverde Academy, located just outside Orlando, Fla., more than a thousand miles from his family in Newark, N.J.

He hasn’t succumbed to ego or homesickness. Instead, judging from how Whitehead, plus his teachers and coaches, talk about his perseverance — he’s described his 2017 arrival there as a “rude awakening” — his mantra must center on sticktoitiveness.

That observation should be a delight to Duke basketball fans’ eyes.

See, despite some folks choosing denial to mask pain, the sting is still fresh from watching last season’s top five-star talent in Durham, Jalen Johnson, suddenly ditch the program in what wasn’t even a one-and-done season. And he did so after shuffling between three high schools, which in hindsight looks like it should have been a forewarning.

Expect Whitehead to stick it out, no matter the struggles that may mount. After all, the third fact here, speaking to his toughness, should further support that particular expectation: