Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. loves a good story.
As one of the most sought after high school basketball players in the country, he’s heard plenty of memorable anecdotes from some of college basketball’s most elite coaches throughout his recruitment process.
But when Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski told Trent the story of how he pulled Kobe Bryant into a hotel room after a USA Basketball practice and had an in-depth talk with him about shooting too much, something registered for Trent.
“Not a lot of coaches, on any level, can say they told Kobe Bryant that he needed to pass the ball more and have Kobe listen to him,” Trent said. “If you can make Kobe Bryant change his whole game based on what you said, that’s big. That’s the coach I wanted to play for.”
WHY I CHOOSE DUKE: The Gary Trent Jr. Blog
On Thursday, Trent committed to Duke over UCLA and Michigan State.
“There was a lot of hard work, prayer and a lot of thought put into this decision,” Trent said. “I know Duke was the right fit in every way for me. I had a strong bond with Coach K and Coach (Jeff) Capel and I know that at Duke I’ll grow as a basketball player, but, more importantly, as a man.”
This summer, while running with Howard Pulley (Minn.), Trent finished third in scoring (22.2 ppg.) in the Nike EYBL, which most consider to be the toughest of the summer circuits.
In two years at Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.), Trent led the Eagles to a 60-4 record and won a state title in 2015.
Last season, he averaged 26 points per game and led the Eagles to the state semis.
Trent said he’s “confident” in his decision because he feels Duke will give him the best chance to achieve his ultimate goal of playing in the NBA. Trent’s father, Gary Trent Sr., had a nine-year NBA career.
“If you look at Duke’s track record of preparing and getting players to the NBA it’s crazy,” said Trent, who is ranked No. 8 overall in the ESPN 100. “I know that I’ll get better every day there. Just to be a part of the tradition there and the family there is a blessing.”
Trent is Duke’s second commitment from the 2017 class, Milton (Milton, Ga.) shooting guard Alex O’Connell committed to the Blue Devils in August.
Here’s what Duke is getting in Gary Trent Jr.
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