Chase Jeter, the 6’11” five-star forward out of Las Vegas, committed to the Duke Blue Devils tonight. Jeter had just completed his play at the AdidasNations event in Southern California, where he earned MVP honors for his play in the third place game, where he scored 14 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and blocked four shots. He actually blocked about seven, but only got credit for four. In any event, after his postgame announcement at Long Beach City College, Blue Devil Nation was the only media outlet granted a private one-on-one interview with the newest Duke star-in-waiting. Here’s what he had to say.
BDN: First of all, I just wanted to congratulate you on your choice and your announcement.
CJ: Thank you.
BDN: How does it feel to have the decision and the announcement behind you now?
CJ: Definitely good. It feels great going into my senior year. I feel really, really comfortable with my decision and I’m just excited to be a Blue Devil.
BDN: Was it a burden for you to have to wait to make the announcement for a little longer than you originally had thought it was going to be, or not really?
CJ: Not at all. It was a personal thing and a familial thing as far as evaluating my decision and making sure that I took the time to make the right choice and give myself time to enjoy the recruiting process.
BDN: That was my next question. Did you enjoy the recruitment process? Some guys do, some guys don’t.
CJ: It definitely has its ups and downs. I was one of the earlier guys to commit, but I was just really comfortable with my decision.
BDN: You’re going to a terrific program, one full of history and which has had a tremendous amount of success over a period of decades, led by the winningest coach in college basketball history. How does it feel to be part of Duke Basketball, officially?
CJ: It’s definitely something special. The Duke guys, they play with such pride and energy, so that’s something you definitely want to go out there and represent with all your heart.
BDN: If you had to put your finger on it, what was it about Duke that ultimately made you choose that program?
CJ: The opportunity to play for Coach K and be able to play right away and have a strong presence.
BDN: Did that stand out for you as opposed to other schools?
CJ: Definitely. I feel like each school was a great choice for me. My final schools were, they were a great list, my final list of schools, but I just feel like Duke is just where I felt most comfortable and I felt it was the best place for me.
BDN: It seemed like you and your family had a terrific visit to campus in the spring and I know you bonded with Luke Kennard. I know your parents really like the Kennards, too. And you bonded with some of the other players on the team also. Was that an important aspect of your decision-making process, that weekend that you had in Durham?
CJ: Definitely, but every single visit I took was a chance for me to see who was there, what the campus environment was like, and it was a great opportunity for me.
BDN: It’s going to be a great recruiting class with you, Luke, and the transfer Sean Obi coming in, and who knows maybe they’ll add another player too. Anyone you would like to see join you and Luke in Durham out of your class?
CJ: Looking to get Brandon Ingram on board, you know he’s taking an official to UCLA this week –
BDN: And he’s going to Duke later in the week too.
CJ: Yeah, I know. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how everything works out for Brandon and we’re gonna try to get him on board.
BDN: You’re gonna work him?
CJ: Oh, definitely.
BDN: Was it tough to decide to go as far from home as you are going, or not really a big factor for you?
CJ: It was. I mean, I’ve been out on the west coast my whole life. I feel like I have a great relationship with my parents but at the end of the day, I felt like Duke was the best choice.
BDN: Last thing: Do you anticipate any kind of negative backlash or talk from the people at home, because I know there were a lot of people who wanted you to stay home and go to UNLV? Do you anticipate anything like that and if so, how are you going to deal with that?
CJ: Just ignore it, honestly. Like they say, haters aren’t my motivator. I just have to continue to do me. That’s what’s gotten me this far with the support of my family and my trainers and coaches so I just feel like I should just continue to do me. That’s all I can do.
BDN: I just wanted to congratulate you on making the decision. I hope you have a great senior season and I look forward to seeing you on the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
CJ: Thanks, Tom.