Houston, Texas prospect Rasheed Sulaimon has made it no secret that he grew up following the Duke Blue Devils. On Friday Rasheed made got a chance to make his first trip over to Durham to catch the opening of Dukes season and take in Coutndown to Craziness. The 6’3 shooting guard got a chance to speak with the coaches and tour the school and BDN caught up with him to hear what he had to say.
BDN: Can you give the audience a quick recap of your trip to Duke this past weekend? Let them know what happened from your arrival to your flight back.
RS: When I got there I toured the campus a little bit with Coach K. I got to kind of walk through with the team and what they were going to do for Midnight Madness. And the next day I got to watch the practice and shoot around a little bit afterwards. Overall the trip was really really good.
BDN: Did you speak individually with Coach K? If so, what did you talk about?
RS: Yes and at one point I got to sit down with the coaching staff and [private] chat with them for about 15 minutes or so. We talked about my family and basketball , how they run things at Duke and Coach was saying that they had a really high interest in me and that they were going to continue to recruit me in the future.
BDN: What was your impression of him and the Duke coaching staff overall?
RS: They are really great people, all of them from Coach K to the rest of the staff. I felt they were really genuine people. Coach K is really a tremendous coach with all of his accomplishments; it was almost weird speaking with him face to face because he is so great. I got a really great impression of them from the visit.
BDN: What was the first thing you told your parents about the trip when you got back?
RS: I just told them how crazy (laughs) and tremendous the visit and Cameron was. The atmosphere and energy was amazing it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I spoke to them about my conversation with Coach K and how hard they practiced and how hard they worked in practice.
BDN: Did you have a favorite moment of your visit?
RS: Oh yea before it was Countdown to Craziness they showed us the rings and they were crazy. They were really heavy and Mason Plumlee let me try it on and it just felt really cool being able to wear a National Championship ring and it just made me want to experience that one day. It was really a great thing. Another great thing was when they unveiled the National Championship banner. That was just crazy, the fans just (laughs), man I can’t even explain it. I mean the energy in the building was just, man it was just crazy.
BDN: Sounds like you had a great time. Out of all the recruits and players did you connect with anyone the most?
RS: Out of everybody there I think I connected with Andre Dawkins the most. I kind of see myself like him a little bit. You know he’s a great shooter, a great athlete and he can defend. I was talking to him a lot about how they do things at Duke and how his transition from high school to college was; me and him really connected the most during my trip.
BDN: Did they mention whether they will offer you in the near future?
RS: I was talking to Coach James and he said if I keep it up that Coach K would come back to see me in the future and if I play my cards right that an offer would be soon.
BDN: Did you discuss a return trip? And would you bring your parents along?
RS: Yes we also talked about that. Before I left me and Coach James were talking and he said that we’re going to try and schedule a future trip where I come back with my parents.
BDN: When you make the leap to college what position do you envision yourself playing?
RS: Me and Coach K actually talked about that. I told him I don’t mind playing the 1 or the 2, the point guard or shooting guard. I’m just a combo guard and I feel comfortable playing in both positions. He kind of said the same thing to me. He said wherever they need me the most he’d play me since I’m comfortable playing both positions.
BDN: Did you speak to them about any of the educational opportunities and support available at the school?
RS: I talked to one of the academic advisors; I talked to him really briefly. We talked about how they do things academically at Duke and the help they receive throughout the season but that’s about it.
BDN: Thank you very much Rasheed. Take care.
RS: Thank you thank you.
*thanks to Andrew Slater for help with questions* [/private]