The race is officially on to get into Duke men's basketball program.
Three days after center Mark Williams became the sixth recruit for the Blue Devils' 2020 class, five-star small forward A.J. Griffin became the first piece of the 2021 class.
Griffin announced via Twitter, catching many off-guard due to the early timing—he won't step foot on Duke's campus again for about 20 months. It seems that his visit to campus for Countdown to Craziness Oct. 18, the preseason intersquad scrimmage in a rowdy Cameron Indoor Stadium, convinced him to solidify future plans.
Still, the 16-year-old from White Plains, N.Y., already has an impressive resume. He's a tenacious finisher with a decent stroke from deep, as well as the No. 10 recruit in the 2021 class, according to ESPN. Last year, he scored 20.9 points, snagged 10.9 rebounds and blocked an astounding 3.5 shots per game as a sophomore at Archbishop Stepinac High School.
Griffin played with the 2019 Team USA U16 team that won the gold medal in Brazil. There, he averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 steals per game.
The 6-foot-6 forward's father played basketball at Seton Hall and his brother Alan currently plays at Illinois. Duke is already a hot ticket, and Griffin's decision might get the ball rolling on more 2021 commitments, especially from players Griffin knows. Griffin is only the third recruit to commit among the top 100 prospects in his class.
Duke has four more offers on the table for 2021 recruits, including the class' top three recruits, Jonathan Kuminga, Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Paolo Banchero.
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