CHICAGO -- Duke commit Chase Jeter is going through an exciting time in his basketball career, as he played in the McDonald's All-American Game this week and now has a chance to watch his future program play in the Final Four.
TDD caught up with the five-star big man during McDonald's week to get his thoughts on how everything is going heading into his first semester on campus.
After helping Bishop Gorman to more hardware this season, Jeter had a chance to shine in the McDonald's All-American game. While Jeter had a quiet game with five points and two blocks, he enjoyed the experience of being an All-American.
"It's been great. They have us doing a lot of cool stuff. Visiting the Ronald McDonald Charity House and being able to see those kids and their families and what they've been through is very humbling," Jeter told TDD. "And being out here able to compete and competing against the top talent in the nation has been awesome. Being selected to this game is an honor."
Most high school players end their senior seasons and take some time to recover before heading to school. While Jeter took a few days off to rest, he realized the importance of the McDonald's All-American practices and continued to train hard after his season was over.
"Ending my high school season, knowing that I have these big-time showcase games and the Hoop Summit game coming up, my work didn't stop," Jeter said. "Most guys take a break. I only took a break for a few days to kind of rest my body after the season. Then I went straight back into it full force. Lifting weights, working out every day, conditioning, cardio, treadmill workouts. A lot of stuff to stay in shape. There's not too much conditioning like 5-on-5, but you have to get it by any means. Going into this game I knew I had to condition to compete."
The additional time to work out has also given Jeter more time to work on some skills he hopes to improve before arriving on campus. The goal right now for Jeter is honing in on his mid-range jumper.
"One of the things that's always been my focus is developing my mid-range game to have a face-up game," Jeter said. "Being able to take guys that are slower than me, bigger than me, and being able to take them to the rack based on my speed is one of the things I want to continue to develop on."
Jeter has also figured out when he is arriving on campus. Although USA Basketball tryouts for the U19 World Championships could complicate things, Jeter has a tentative date scheduled to begin summer school.
"As of right now, there's USA tryouts for the U19 team, so we'll see how that works out," Jeter said. "As of right now I'm supposed to arrive on campus June 29th for summer school."
The McDonald's game also means that Jeter has received some facetime with Duke Class of 2015 targets Brandon Ingram and Caleb Swanigan. Those guys played with Jeter on the West team all week, so he had plenty of chances to play with them and get a feel for their future decisions.
"I talk to guys like Brandon Ingram, Caleb Swanigan; two of our final targets in the 2015 class. I've been talking to those guys and seeing how they're feeling and seeing where they're leaning towards." Jeter said. "I feel like we've got a good chance at some of those guys -- I won't say specifics -- but I feel like we're in a good spot with both of them."
There wasn't much need for Jeter to stay hungry entering next season, but he's really enjoyed watching the current Final Four run that Duke is going through.
"It's definitely motivation for next year. Arriving on campus and being able to assume a big role is challenging; but an exciting challenge. The reason I chose Duke," Jeter said.
During the NCAA tournament run this season, Jeter said he's kept in touch with a few of the players. Judging by the positive reaction those guys are having, Jeter believes he made the right call to attend Duke.
"I talk to Tyus, Justise and Jahlil. They're the main guys I talk to and they just love it. I can see it on their faces when they play. Being able to talk to them off-the-court as well, seeing what they have to say it's amazing," Jeter said. "I couldn't be more happy and confident in the decision I made to attend Duke University. It's just one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life."
There is an outside chance that Jeter will attend the Final Four -- since Indianapolis is a short three-hour trip from Chicago, the site of the McDonald's game -- but he wasn't sure if that would happen.
"There's a chance I go to the Final Four in Indianapolis, but I'm not sure. After the McDonald's game it would be pretty good to go home," Jeter said. "I'll most likely end up just going back home, but there's a chance I end up going to the games."
Jeter stays hungry and focused
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