NBAPA Spotlight: Julian Vaughn

After breaking on to the national scene earlier this spring, Julian Vaughn has rocketed from an unknown to a high major prospect. The 6-foot-8, 240lbs power forward spent Memorial Day weekend making a big splash at the annual Tournament of Champions before visiting Duke unofficially. This week at the NBA Players Camp he's continuing to prove himself as an elite talent. TDD caught up with Julian for an update on Friday night.

Over Memorial Day you took an unofficial visit to Duke. What were your impressions?

Julian Vaughn: Man, Duke was awesome, I met with the whole coaching staff, including Coach K, I got the chance to get a whole tour of the facilities and Cameron Indoor Stadium, I even went up to Coach K's office and we talked for awhile

Anything in particular?

Coach K basically told me that Coach Wojo really liked me and that they were going to evaluate me in July. He didn't offer me a scholarship or anything, because he said that since he hadn't seen me yet, he won't offer a scholarship yet, which I guess is the Duke way.

What kind of approach has Duke taken with you so far?

Duke's been really cool, I talk a lot with Coach Wojo, we text message each other a lot, I'm also staying in contact with him, giving him updates on how I'm doing.

How has Duke's approach differed from other schools?

Duke's been totally no pressure, I've even talked with Grant Hill, who went to my school a long time ago and he told me to just make the decision for myself, don't go somewhere just because people are telling you that you should go to that particular school.

What are your thoughts on that kind of approach?

I really like Duke's approach, I have a lot of respect and admiration for Coach K, I mean, Duke only recruits All-Americans each year, so, for them to like me is an honor in itself. Other than that, Duke's really felt like a family to me, already, which is important.

Speaking of important, what's important to you with your decision?

First and foremost, I really want to have a close relationship with my head coach, I mean, having a school handle their recruitment through their head coach is really important to me, because it shows their commitment. Other than that, I want to know that I will be able to go to my coach about anything, not just basketball, and I want it that way for life, I want to know that I'll be able to go back to whatever college I go to once I graduate and feel like I'm part of the family.

Shifting gears a bit, can you talk about your experience here at camp, playing against all the top guys

It's just been one of the best experiences I've had, playing against all these top guys has already benefited me, talking with the NBA guys, getting all this training, it's just been great for me as a player.

In What Way?

I think learning the finer points of the game, like how to maintain good post position, or how to play better help defense, stuff along those lines, that's helped me a lot in the games.

How about the various seminars?

They talk about SO MUCH, I mean, they talk about everything from girls to agents, to recruiting, to academics, I have learned so much, getting to go to the classroom each day and learn these things, it's so different from other camps, I'm really glad I came here this year, it's taught me so much as a person.

So you're trying to soak everything up?

Oh yeah, I mean, I try to excel in everything I do, I mean, I just submitted my grades to Duke when I went and they told me I was looking good because I'm at a 3.7 right now, but yeah, these classes and stuff, I've got a great opportunity here, I don't want to waste it. I also try to take care of my body, eat smart, and just stay focused, I mean, I've got a good chance of going to a good school, I don't want to mess it up.

You mentioned earlier that Duke was going to touch base again in July. Any expectations on your part?

Man, if they offered it would shoot them way up my list, like easily in the top three if not number one. I mean, I just like everything about Duke, they are such an awesome school.

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