EYBL Hampton: Wendell Carter

The class of 2017 is stocked with high major prospects, especially in the post. One player on the Duke radar is Georgia’s Wendell Carter, Jr. We spoke with the five star big forward about his early recruitment and Duke’s place within it.

What’s it been like playing alongside the other talented big guys on your Georgia Stars team? You guys appear to be loaded in the frontcourt…

Wendell Carter, Jr.: I never had this before, it’s kinda hard to get adjusted to it but I’m a very open person, I’m open to learning new things and it’s been great to play with other really talented big men. Mostly with my old teams they kinda relied on me, but now with this team, we can rely on any of us so it’s not all the pressure on me or just one person, I’m comfortable with that.

What makes you so comfortable playing alongside other really talented big men?

Well in speaking of college coaches, when college coaches watch us, they want to see what you can do and how you adjust to the game with the personnel that’s around you, so I just adjust and whatever happens happens.

Have you had any college coaches who are recruiting you give you feedback about that “adjusting” to other players you just referenced?

Not really, I’m actually too young for them to call me directly, I think they call like around June 15 to me.

Speaking of the June 15th contact date—are there any college coaches you are really looking forward to talking with once they can call you directly?

Yeah, Duke, Kentucky, LSU, Harvard and Georgia Tech.

Duke and Kentucky are regarded as part of the cream of the college crop—what makes you look forward to potentially hearing from them after June 15?

Their coaches of those colleges, they make players ready for the league. I’m not saying that that is my only option out but if I had to choose what school to go to that can help me get ready for the next level, I would go there.

How big are academics in your consideration of a college program?

One of my hidden talents is math, I really like math, I have a 102 overall grade in my math class and I actually have a 3.9 GPA. Since it’s my first year at my school in Georgia, Pace Academy, they won’t allow me to take any AP or Honors courses, but next year I plan on taking an AP Math class. My mom went to Ole Miss for school and my dad went to Delta State and then transferred to Ole Miss, not a lot of people in my overall family went to college though.

Have either your AAU or High School coaches discussed with you what college programs are expressing interest in you to them?

Actually not too long ago Duke called, I can’t think of his name, it was one of the assistant coaches but he called and I talked to him. He was just asking when I could get up there for a visit, maybe see a game, just chit chat.

Are you potentially planning on visiting Duke during the spring or summer, or would you likely wait until the season starts up?

It’s potential that I might visit during the summer.

Did they discuss anything about the potential of a Duke offer in the future?

No sir, they didn’t discuss that.

What are your early impressions of the Duke program?

I like them a lot, I like what they do with the talent that’s there, I like that they seem to get them NBA ready.

With wanting to get NBA ready in college Wendell, are you the type who wants to be NBA ready after your freshman year, or do you think you lean towards spending longer in college?

Depending on draft stock, how I like the school, because you can always go back to school but you only usually have that one opportunity to get to the league. If it comes out after my first year I might take it, but if it doesn’t, I would just stay in school and get a degree.

When you go to college—do you think it’s a better fit for you to go in and be the main post player, or is it a better situation for you to go in and play with a rotation of talented big players?

It doesn’t matter, either way I can adjust to it. If they have more bigs, it takes some of the pressure off of me and if they don’t, I can just get down and grind.

Are there any college programs that if they offer you a scholarship would be a real game-changer for you in your recruitment?

I kinda like FSU a lot, Duke, Kentucky, the normal schools like that.

It looks like FSU has been making you a priority from seeing their coaches around at games…

Yeah he came to my school like at least once a month. I actually think they have a really good recruiting class this year, so they must be doing something right, I just gotta find out what it is.

Who are you really leaning on to help you with the recruiting process?

I’m going to lean on my parents because I want to take advantage of the fact that I have parents that can help unlike others who don’t. Also I’m going to lean on my high school coach, he knows what he’s doing.

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