"I went up there the other day and had a chance to play pick up with the different guys," said Pinson. "I got to run with Andre, Seth, Mason, Marshall, and Tyler Thornton as well. It was a lot of fun to be able to play against and with guys who I watched on TV all these years."
Throughout their informal pickup action Pinson says he felt like he was able to not only hold his own, but also to learn a lot.
"I don't really look at those guys as being older or whatever. They are just basketball players. That's how my mom tells me to approach every game and opponent. It doesn't matter how much bigger or faster they could be. In the end you are all just playing basketball."
Certainly Pinson's attitude is admirable. And it got put to the test this week when he drew quite an interesting matchup in a few games.
"I had to guard Grant Hill a couple of games. I thought he'd take it easy on me, but he didn't at all. It was crazy, but I thought it was a great challenge to try and match up with him. Those guys are Duke all go hard every time they get on the court."
"Overall I think I did well and I felt good when I left. I had four or five dunks and was able to get my jumper to fall from distance. It was tough at first because all of those guys can shoot from deep and they are all really good. I think it makes me better playing against guys like that. I'm probably going back up there Saturday as well. I'm trying to prepare for this Team USA thing coming up."
The Blue Devil coaching staff has yet to formalize much of the process with Pinson, but they have indicated their interest according to the 6'5 wing.
"I've talked to Coach Wojo and I had a chance to meet all the coaches this week including Coach Capel. They are all pretty laid back with everything but have told me they like my game and would love for me to come to Duke if that was the best choice for me. One thing I really liked was the facilities. They were incredible. Everything was so clean and shiny. My sister and my mom went with me and both of them were tough to get out because they were so impressed."
Of course a decision is a long, long way off for Pinson. In the meantime he will continue to concentrate on his AAU and high school seasons. The former with CP3 All-Stars who participate in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
"The league has been great for me personally. I like it better than the older AAU style. You are always playing tough opponents and there is never a slack game or opponent. Every time you get on the court you are playing a team with legit players and talent. It makes you learn lessons of the game."
"Well, we were in Los Angeles and we got caught looking ahead in one game and we got beaten pretty badly. It taught us as a team that you can't overlook anyone and you have respect every team you play. As a player I learned that sometimes I need to be more aggressive and go to the basket more. Not just relying on my jumpshot to get points."
Currently the CP3 All-Stars sit at 11-4 in the EYBL.