HAMPTON, Va.—He might not have been playing due to an ankle injury, but Jahlil Okafor—the No. 1 overall player in the class of 2014—could not escape the attention of the media during the second session of the Nike EYBL. Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, along with associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski were in attendance to watch many of the top prospects in the country.
Serious about attending the same school as close friend and top-ranked point guard Tyus Jones, Okafor shed some light on the current happenings in his recruitment.
Question: What exactly is your injury? Did you try to play on it?
Answer: It’s just a sprained ankle. It’s not that bad. I tried to play yesterday, but it felt real tight and tender. So, my coach had me sit out.
Q: You and Tyus jones have remained committed to attending the same school. What about him makes you want to play with him?
A: He’s my best friend even without basketball. He’s a point guard, pass-first, and he can score. He makes the game a lot easier.
Q: What schools have come in for in-home visits with you recently?
A: Kansas, Duke, Baylor, Ohio State, Michigan State, and I think that was it.
Q: Can you talk about the Duke in-home visit and what Coach K had to say and the sales pitch he gave you?
A: They are selling Duke as a program besides baskeball. You know the academics and how many great people are there outside of basketball. I might be rooming with like a billionaire that will make way more money than I ever will playing basketball. Things like that.
Q: Does that sales pitch of academics resonate with you?
A: Yeah, definetly. I want to meet other people and I think Duke is a perfect place for that.
Q: Has your opinion or outlook on schools has changed at all after doing several in-home visits with head coaches?
A: No, not really. I have pretty much talked to each school since my freshman year. I guess Kansas. That was my first time talking to Bill Self, and he left a really good impression.
Q: Do you plan on playing for the Team USA 19U squad this summer?
A: I talked to Coach K about that. I think I will.
Q: Is Jabari Parker going to play on the U.S. 19U team this summer?
A: I don’t think he is. I think he’s going to go straight to college to get healthy and get in shape.
Q: What's your timeline looking like for official visits and will you take all five?
A: I’m going to definitely take all five of my official visits.
Q: Do you intend to cut down your list of suitors anytime soon?
A: Yeah, very soon.