Austin Rivers: Journal Entry III

Austin Rivers checks in as his high school season begins while hitting on several topics including his early thoughts on his future teammates, the NBA, and more.

What's up Duke fans!

It's been a while since I did my last journal entry, and I've been pretty busy. It's the best time of year for me because basketball season is really ramping up from high school to college to the NBA.

My high school season gets started next weekend with a game against Montverde who is considered one of the top teams in the country. Our team has a new look this year in that we don't have as much size as last year, but we are a lot quicker and more athletic. It's going to be a good challenge for us to try and adapt to a new style of play. In our two exhibition games we struggled with change and there was a lot of confusion between the players. We've got six new players and when a team has that much turnover there's going to be some adjustment periods. Since then we've put in a lot of time in during practice and will be ready to go.

We also did a team building exercise last week where our team went with a local charity to help out 300-400 families with getting food and other necessities. There are a lot of families in Central Florida and all over the country who are having tough times because of this recession. For us to give up four hours of our time and help those people was a great experience for everyone on the team and really made everyone appreciate the things we can take for granted at times.

As far as college goes, I signed my National Letter of Intent earlier this month for Duke. It was a great experience to know that once I finished signing the recruiting process was over. There is no turning back now. I'm going to be a Blue Devil and I cannot wait. I know that being a Duke commit means I'm going to have a target on my back, and I just have to keep working to be ready for that.

People have asked me if I could do anything different about the recruiting process would I. I don't think so. People have said I should have followed through and taken more official visits, but that's not right. I knew I wanted to go to Duke. I mean North Carolina is a great school with great coaches and a great program, but I was just really feeling Duke a lot more so I went ahead and committed. Throughout the recruitment I just connected with Coach Collins and Coach K much better than anyone else. They seemed like they were interested in me as both a player and a person. Other schools seemed like they liked me for basketball first, but with Duke I just developed a real trust with the coaches and that's why I'm heading there.

Even with my high school schedule being so busy I'm hoping to find some time to get up to Duke for a few games this season. But with my brother and sister both playing and wanting to spend some time with my dad and his games it's going to be tough. Still I am sure I'll be able to get up there a couple of times.

I actually just watched Duke play Kansas State last night. They looked really good. Kyrie [Irving] is just a monster. There are some guys you just look at and know they are ready to dominate from the first game. Not many freshman can take over a game, but he's just one of those special players. I think he could play in the [NBA] now. I don't think I'll get to play with him, but when the NBA locks out I think it could give a lot of guys something to think about. If Kyrie did end up staying I think our team would be incredibly tough next year with the backcourt rotation we'd have.

Overall I think Duke has been really good so far and with Coach K you know they are just going to get better. Right now I don't see a team that can keep up with them when they get out and run. They have a long way to go though, but so far they look like the nation's best team.

After high school season I'm going to be playing for Team USA this summer at the U18 event. The tournament will be held in Latvia and looks like it'll be a lot of fun. I had such a great experience last year and it'll be a great way to prepare for the transition from high school to college. I'm also putting in extra time in the weight room at least three times a week trying to stay strong as the high school season goes along.

When I haven't been watching college or preparing for high school ball I've watched a little bit of the NBA. I can't believe what is going on in Miami. It's just my opinion, but I think LeBron and D-Wade overlap each other a lot and it's making things tough to figure out. I'm actually going with some teammates tonight to watch them play the Magic because the Orlando arena is really close to my house. I am hoping Miami can put it together and make tonight entertaining.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I hope everyone has a great holiday. I'm most looking forward to my mom's cooking. She goes crazy on Thanksgiving. She makes turkey, ham, greenbeans, stuffing, gravy, pies, and the best sweet potatoes around. You can ask any recruiter who visited us, my mom is a great cook!

Thanks for reading everyone,


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