Nike EYBL: 5-star forward Vernon Carey Jr. shakes off nerves in debut

Nike EYBL: 5-star forward Vernon Carey Jr. shakes off nerves in debut

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Nike EYBL: 5-star forward Vernon Carey Jr. shakes off nerves in debut

HAMPTON, Va. – Vernon Carey Jr. is the No. 2 overall player in the ESPN 25 with offers from every college coach you can imagine, but when he suited up for Nike Team Florida’s 17U team Friday in the first session of the Nike EYBL, Carey had no problem admitting he was “very nervous.”

“I definitely was,” Carey said. “It’s my first year at this level and I didn’t really know what to expect. Those first few minutes were crazy for me.”

Carey shook off the nerves to post 18 points, five rebounds and two assists in a 79-71 win over E1T1 (Fla.) at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.

“I got pretty comfortable pretty fast,” Carey said. “After I started getting it going it was just like any other game.”

Even more impressive is that Carey jumped two levels this year.

Last season he led Team Florida to the 15U Peach Jam title.

“I knew it would be a more physical at this level so I added 10 pounds of muscle,” Carey said. “I feel like I needed a game like this to get more comfortable, but I still don’t feel like I played my best. There’s a lot more I can do and each game I want to show that more and more.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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