Duke basketball: Dariq Whitehead returning home to play in New York City

Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead has been drafted back home. 

It’s been a long year for Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead but now he can finally head home.

The Newark, New Jersey native was selected with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

Whitehead was not at the draft, which was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but was gathered with family and friends a few miles away in Manhattan as his named was called by commissioner Adam Silver.

Ranked as the No. 3 high school prospect entering college last season, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Whitehead struggled at Duke with injuries after he suffered a broken foot in August and a lower leg strain, which looked much worse than diagnosed, in January.

The broken foot only forced the 6-foot-6 wing to miss the first three games of the regular season but the explosiveness that he showed during his decorated high school career at Montverde Academy (Fla.) was lacking.

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It was later reveled after the season that his foot did not heal properly and required another surgery but it was been reported that the expectation is that Dariq Whitehead will be ready for training camp in the fall.

Whitehead missed four games during the season due to his lower leg strain.

The highly touted prospect still managed to play in 28 games, starting seven, and average 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assist on 42.9-percent shooting from 3-point range this season for the Blue Devils.

Dariq Whitehead’s teammate at Duke, Dereck Lively, was selected No. 12 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder but immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

Duke basketball wing continuing to make program history in draft

Dariq Whitehead becomes the 108th all-time player drafted in Duke history as well as the 55th all-time first-round pick to come out of the historic program.

Duke has also seen multiple players be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft for the second straight season and the six times in the last nine drafts.

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It’s also the 13th time overall the program has produced multiple first-rounders, according to Duke Men’s Basketball Stats.

Despite the information that Dariq Whitehead will be ready to participate in training camp, it would be smart for the Brooklyn Nets, who are looking to develop its young talent after trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last season, to take it slow with the Blue Devil and not rush him on the court where he could injure his foot yet again.

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