Jahlil Okafor is the top-ranked player in the ESPN 100 for 2014. Okafor, a 6-foot-11 center who recently finished up his senior year at Whitney Young (Chicago), led the Dolphins to a state title this past season and took home Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American MVP honors. Okafor has agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
What’s up everybody; I’m back to finish off my blog for you guys now that I’m getting ready to head off to college.
I’m definitely happy about how everything turned out this season. I finished my high school career off with a state championship; if you’ve been keeping up with my blog this whole time then you know that was my No. 1 goal. It felt good to finally do that!
Then I got to play in the Jordan game and the McDonald’s game and I won both of those games and won MVP too. That was a great honor. Also, winning the Nike Hoop Summit game was big for me because we lost that game last time; so I’m definitely pretty happy right now!
I got the chance to be on the Steve Harvey Show recently too, and that was a great experience.
They had a girl named Melanie that needed a date for the prom and she wrote the show and Steve Harvey hooked her up with a nice dress, a Rolls-Royce Phantom and a full makeover. The last thing she needed was a date and he hooked her up with me because she was a basketball player and loved sports. Her mother said she wanted someone who was nice and polite, and I guess Steve Harvey felt I had all of those traits so I went on the show.
The girl didn’t know who was going to be her prom date and I hid in the Phantom and got out and asked her to the prom. She said, “Yes.” It was cool because she and her parents knew who I was and she and her mother had seen me play before; once in person.
I went to the prom with her out in L.A. and met her whole family and they were all really cool. I had a great time.
I go down to Duke on June 28 and, of course, I’m really excited about that. I’ve never been a part of anything as big as Duke, and, right now, I’m just trying to work as hard as possible to be prepared. I’m talking to people, asking for advice and doing everything that I can to be ready for that first game.
I’m literally working nonstop. I’m more committed than I’ve ever been. I really want to hit the scene hard with Tyus, Justise and Grayson. We know that a lot is expected out of us and I know all about the pressure that people are already putting on us, but all we can do is work as hard as possible to be ready.
I always say, no one puts more pressure on me than myself!
I know that some people have us ranked No. 1 for next season and even though it’s kinda early for all that I do think it’s warranted. We’ve got a great class coming in with a lot of different parts to it; add that in with Rasheed Sulaimon, Quinn Cook, Marshall Plumlee, Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson, and we’ll have lots of All-Americans on the roster. Of course we’ve got the greatest coach in college basketball, Coach K, and the best staff too so I think that with all of those pieces we have what it takes. It’s going to be a lot of fun at Duke!
More than likely I’ll be rooming with Tyus so that’ll be cool. Plus, I’m wearing No. 15 next year; that’s the number I wore when I first started out. It was my number with Team USA and with Mac Irvin Fire too. So I’m excited about going back to my old number.
It’s crazy that this is my last blog; I’ve been writing it since the beginning of my junior year and I appreciate everyone that’s been reading it this whole time. You guys have stuck with me through this whole process and I can’t thank you enough for the support.
Please continue to support me as I make this next step to Durham, N.C., to represent Duke University!
Don’t forget to follow Jahlil Okafor on Twitter: @BigJah22