Last week, Archbishop Stepinac High School (White Plains, N.Y.) wing A.J. Griffin hinted to USA TODAY High School Sports that he isn’t the player that’s going to let things linger well into the 11th hour of his senior year.
“When I know, I won’t waste time,” Griffin said. “That’s wasting my time and other colleges’ time. That’s not me.”
He made good on that promise Monday morning, committing to Duke over Kentucky and Villanova, the other two schools Griffin said were “recruiting me the hardest.”
Griffin, who is ranked No. 8 overall in USA TODAY High School Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2021, visited Duke for its Countdown to Craziness basketball kickoff event two weeks ago and said, “the atmosphere was even crazier than I had heard.”
“It’s past the hype,” Griffin said. “It was just really loud and hype in there. I went and sat with the Cameron Crazies and everything. I had a good time there. Coach K told me anywhere I’d go, I’ll be a problem on the court. That meant a lot coming from him because of who he is.”
This past summer, Griffin, who is the son of nine-year NBA veteran Adrian Griffin, averaged 20 points a game for the PSA Cardinals (N.Y.) on the grueling Nike EYBL. He pumped in 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Archbishop Stepinac last season.
Griffin said the Duke coaches compared him to R.J. Barrett, the Blue Devils All-American who was picked No. 3 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.
“They said the biggest thing is that, like R.J., I’m not afraid of the big moment of the big shot,” Griffin said. “And how he just plays off his instincts and reacts. That felt good, because he was such a great player. It just made me want to work harder; that’s just how I am.”
Griffin is Duke’s first commit from the 2021 class.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY