Univer­sity star com­mits to Duke

Five-star prospect Ver­non Carey Jr. picks Coach K, the Blue Devils.

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Licht­en­stein South Florida Sun Sen­tinel

Univer­sity School bas­ket­ball star and five-star prospect Ver­non Carey Jr. is headed to Duke.

The 6-foot-10 cen­ter and last sea­son’s Sun Sen­tinel Broward County 6A-1A boys bas­ket­ball player of the year com­mit­ted to Duke in a cer­e­mony at his school on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Carey picked the Blue Devils over North Carolina and Michi­gan State.

“This morn­ing, I just felt like Duke was [right] for me,” Carey said.

“[It was] prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion of my life.”

Carey cited the Blue Devils’ re­cruit­ing class, the play­ers cur­rently on the team and leg­endary coach Mike Krzyzewski as the ma­jor fac­tors that con­vinced him.

“[Krzyzewski said] I’m a unique player, and he said he works well with unique play­ers,” Carey said. “So just be­ing able to be un­der his belt is just hum­bling.”

Carey’s de­ci­sion was car­ried live on ESPN. He said he chose to com­mit to­day be­cause it is the an­niver­sary of the death of his grand­fa­ther.

“I ab­so­lutely adore the Carey fam­ily, and to see the emo­tion they’re go­ing through to­day, they’re tremen­dous peo­ple,” US­chool coach Jim Carr said. “I’m very proud, I’m very happy for young Ver­non. I think he’s re­lieved the process is over.

“This is a hard day. Ver­non’s

grand­fa­ther was such an iconic fig­ure in his com­mu­nity.”

Carey orig­i­nally con­sid­ered Mi­ami in his top five schools. His fa­ther, Ver­non Carey Sr., played foot­ball for the Hur­ri­canes.

Carr said he thinks the sus­pi­cion around the Mi­ami bas­ket­ball pro­gram in the FBI’s probe into cor­rup­tion in col­lege bas­ket­ball hurt the Hur­ri­canes’ chances of land­ing Carey.

“Mi­ami, I thought, had great mo­men­tum when I first got here,” Carr said. “It’s an un­be­liev­able pro­gram. I re­ally feel for them be­cause I think just the neg­a­tiv­ity of where col­lege bas­ket­ball was last year and the im­proper in­nu­endo

against that pro­gram put them back a lit­tle bit.”

Carey, the No. 2 prospect in the 2019 class ac­cord­ing to 247Sports, has helped lead his team to a 4-0 start this sea­son.

Last year, Carey took the Sharks to a Class 5A state ti­tle and a na­tional run­nerup fin­ish. He av­er­aged av­er­aged 26 points, 13 re­bounds and 4 as­sists per game. He was named Florida Dairy Farm­ers’ Mr. Bas­ket­ball af­ter his ju­nior year.

“He re­ally, re­ally val­ues win­ning,” Carr said. “But Ver­non Carey’s mind­set is: team, win­ning, my­self, my im­prove­ment. He hasn’t got­ten caught up with rank­ings or opin­ions. To his credit, I think that’s been good with him.”

CARLINE JEAN/SUN SEN­TINEL

Univer­sity School cen­ter Ver­non Carey Jr. an­nounced Thurs­day that he has de­cided to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

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