Kyle Filipowski hopes to make Duke basketball community 'proud' during NBA career

The sophomore forward wants to carry the legacy of the Blue Devil greats forward
Duke v Houston; Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski
Duke v Houston; Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski / Lance King/GettyImages

Kyle Filipowski could have left the Duke basketball program after one season and no one would have been able to argue with his decision.

He would've been a first round pick last June but still elected to return to the program for another shot at winning a National Championship and, while it didn't happen for the Blue Devils this season, the 5-star recruit left his mark on the program.

Filipowski's career at Duke ended on Friday afternoon when he announced his decision to enter the 2024 NBA Draft, shortly after teammate Jared McCain made his choice public too.

"This has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to pursue it," he said on social media.

The 7-footer, after being as the ACC Rookie of the Year a season ago, was a consensus Second Team All-American this year while posting 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game but his farewell message to Duke came from the heart.

"Thank you, Duke Nation. Your unwavering encouragement and belief in me have fueled my determination to reach this point. Whether you've cheered for me from the stands, followed my career online, or simply sent positive vibes my way, please know that your support has meant the world to me."

Kyle Filipowski was named as the Most Valuable Player of the ACC Tournament last season, leading the Blue Devils to its 22nd title.

"I also want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to my coaches, teammates, and everyone else who has helped my along the way," Filipowski continued.

"Your guidance, mentorship, and sacrifice have played the ultimate role in shaping me both as a player and as a person, While I may no longer call Durham home, know that I will always carry this community with me."

Filipowski is projected as a Top-15 pick in the June's NBA Draft and his size, along with much improved 3-point shooting, should be looked at favorably among orginzations during the pre-draft process.

"To Cameron [Indoor Stadium]. To the [Cameron] Crazies. To my Coaches. To the Brotherhood. I hope to make you all proud."

The 2024 NBA Draft will be on June 26 and 27.