One on one with Javin DeLaurier

Four star power forward Javin DeLaurier sits down with TDD to discuss his upcoming Duke visit, how it changed, what Coach K is telling him regarding his potential future at Duke, and much more.

First time for us to talk, Javin, what can you tell me about yourself on and off the court?

Javin DeLaurier  I try to be as well-rounded as I can. I play basketball obviously, but I have a 3.6 GPA, a good score on SAT. I like to think life is more than just basketball. I’d like to be a doctor at some point. I took a Biology course that got me interested and my teacher made an impression on me last year and that’s when I thought about doing it. That was the first time I thought about being a doctor. I don’t know what field of medicine yet that I want to study in.


How much have you looked into the pre-med degree options at the different schools recruiting you?

Yes sir, I have. It’s really cool with a lot of the places I’m interested in because I can major in Biology but also branch out into other subjects so I can finish requirements I would need for med schools.


Is there a big difference school to school in terms of those of those branch-out options you mentioned?

No, a lot of them are pretty much the same, you just have to make your own education with what you want to study. Like I know at one school the combination was Biology with Business which would be great. It’s pretty varied.


Based on your research so far, which academic programs in particular have caught your attention with the programs recruiting you?

Everywhere I’ve visited has been great so far. I’ve taken two official visits and they have been really intriguing. I got to spend time with the Biology Department at both universities, they both did a great job at getting me in touch with people who specialize in that field at their schools. That was Notre Dame and Texas.


What kind of things did you take away from the Notre Dame and Texas official visits that are going to inform how you approach or evaluate the rest of your visits ?

It’s going to help me learn what I like and don’t like. I learned that I liked a lot about both schools. I don’t want to go into specifics right now but both programs have a lot to offer and are really interesting with basketball and academics. I’m just trying to evaluate how I fit at each program without basketball. For instance, basketball is very important, but if I were to get hurt and my career was over—would I be able to go there for 4 years and be as successful as I want to be ?


How are you figuring out how you see each school differently since the programs recruiting you and that you are visiting are considered to all be big-time academic programs ?

I look at the environment I’d be in, campus, those types of things.


With campus environment, campus size, class size—do you have an opinion on what you consider to be a good fit overall for you?

Great student to faculty ratio is important. Overall school size isn’t as important to me but those are factors.


How big a deal is it for you and your family with distance from home as you evaluate the colleges?

Distance isn’t a negative, but it can be a positive. I’m not going to not go to a school just because it’s too far, but being close to home is good. It’s important for me and my parents with that.


Switching gears, with Duke being involved with you now, can you give me a sense of how and when the recruiting process started with them, and how has that evolved over time ?

Duke actually started recruiting me during the high school season. Coach Nate James reached out and they came and watched during July. After the in-home, we just had an in-home with them, things just started clicking well from there.


When they first got involved in your recruitment…how did you feel about that ?

It was great, they told me a lot of things that I could needed to do to improve and that helped my game a lot during the course of the summer. Then when I received the offer from them, it was amazing.


What made receiving the Duke offer “amazing” in your opinion? How did they present it?

Coach K was talking about the other guys in my class that they are recruiting with Frank, Harry, Marques and Wenyen and then he said he was going to be offering someone from my hometown which was me, so that was amazing to get that offer. Then he stood up and shook my head and said congratulations.


What kind of questions did you have for the Duke staff?

I had questions about the other guys that they were recruiting in my class and with their current roster-they have a lot of guys projected to leave, so it looks like there would be a big opportunity for the entire 2016 class coming in and he said there would be lots of opportunities to contribute immediately if we were ready. I liked a lot of what I heard during the visit.


Did the Duke staff sharing with you about the other front-court guys they are recruiting in 2016—did that create any follow up questions for you or concerns?

Not concerns, just a lot of excitement. I know Frank really well, we played on the Adidas Circuit. I know Wenyen too but I don’t know Jayson (Tatum) or Harry (Giles) and I haven’t played with Marques (Bolden), but I was very excited to hear about all the guys that they were talking about.


When you and Frank and Wenyen have discussed Duke and their recruitment of all 3 of you—what’s been the main topics of conversations there?

Well Frank has been committed for a little while now, he’s been sort of a recruiting board guy with Wenyen and I, haha. It’s a cool thing, they are all great guys and I love talking with them. I don’t know where Wenyen is with Duke.


What kind of role has the Duke staff presented to you that you would have if you were to go there?

One where I come in and contribute immediately as a freshman. The way I play with my motor and athleticism, I would be able to contribute immediately, as long as I continue to develop and put in the work.


Is the Duke staff indicating they would want to play you at the 4 and 5 spots in their system, or is it more one than the other?

They aren’t indicating that I would be a 5, I’d be a 4. They love my versatility and what I can do defensively at the 2-5. No set position for me.


With the in-home visit, how was it for you to receive the Duke offer?

It was honestly a dream come true and I’ve thought about Duke since I was a little kid, it was amazing to have them in my home.


Were you more a fan of the team growing up, or was it more individual players that you were drew to?

I really liked Nolan Smith, he was fun to watch and Kyrie Irving when he was there for those 11 games. Jabari, Austin Rivers, they were both great.


Did you ever think you would get the Duke offer?

I dreamed about it, I definitely dreamed about it.


Once the Duke offer came, how do you see that as affecting your overall recruitment?

I kinda had a hunch it was coming, they are definitely a major player, that’s for sure.


So with that, how does feeling that way about Duke extend to how you feel about the rest of the programs recruiting you?

I haven’t made any decisions yet, they are still very much in the game, but I am very excited about the offer from Duke.


It looks like Duke’s visit is currently slotted  as your last official visit—is that correct?

Yes it is right now but it may be moved up to a closer date, next weekend. It’s still being finalized.


Was changing the potential Duke visit date done at your request or at the Duke staff’s request?

It was at theirs. Coach K said they wanted to get me on campus as soon as possible.


How do you see yourself approaching the rest of your visits with this potential visit change?

It depends, will depend on how things go at the school, we will see. I will see how things go. I’m obviously very excited but I’m still trying to take it one step at a time.

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