Gbinije Getting Ready For Duke

A lot of changes are in store for five high major hoopsters over the next few weeks as the Duke freshman class will be enrolling in Durham for the summer sessions. Among those will be Virginia swingman Michael Gbinije who spoke to TDD on Wednesday.

"I am going to be heading to Duke in mid-June for summer school," said Michael Gbinije. "I'm really excited to get there. Right now I'm just kind of enjoying my last few weeks at home."

It's been quite an eventful span of time over the last couple of months for Gbinije. He competed in the Jordan Brand All-Star game where he came off the bench for the East Team to score 10 points in 16 minutes of action. The entire week allowed the Virginia native to answer some internal questions and build some early relationships.

"On the court I proved to myself that I can play with anyone in the country. I played really well during the practices and was guarded by a lot of the country's top players and was able to produce. I want to carry that over to Duke."

"Off the court I had a chance to really hang out with Austin. He's the most competitive guy I've met. While we were there he always had to win. We would be in 4 on 4 games in practice and his team would lose. As soon as they game was over he made us run it back again and again. Away from the court he's really funny though."

As with any high level all-star event, the players were able to get high level instruction and competition, but they also received some great gift sets.

"We got a lot of gear including some Jordan Brand headphones. Those were definitely the best. I'd say my best overall memory from that event was running through the tunnel onto an NBA court with all the other top players. It was a special memory."

Outside of the Jordan Brand game Gbinije also went to Houston for the Inaugural All-American Championship along with future Blue Devils Rasheed Sulaimon and Alex Murphy. With Murphy reclassifying into 2011, Gbinije had a chance to play with a future teammate a year early. Murphy scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in 17 minutes while Gbinije added 14 points and five rebounds.

"One thing I noticed with Alex is just how smart he is on the court. His basketball IQ is so high. He's always making the right cuts and reads off screens and when he's getting position. Off the court he's pretty laid back and pretty chill."

After leaving Houston, Gbinije returned home to Virginia and is now preparing for Duke with a training regiment that will have him prepared for the physical and mental grind that comes with a prospect's freshman season. He's been in frequent contact with the coaching staff in an effort to streamline the move from high school to college.

"I've talked to them about everything and we're all excited. I talked to Coach K soon after they hired Coach Capel. He thinks it's going to be good for everyone. it's pretty cool he's going to be part of what we're doing. They've told me to just keep working hard and to get ready. I think I need to keep adding muscle."

Gbinije finished his prep career ranked as the nation's No. 7 small forward prospect in the class of 2011. He is considered a four star prospect and the No. 26 prospect overall - just one spot out of the five star range.

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