Michael Savarino, an 18-year-old point guard, said he will be a preferred walk-on at his grandfather's school.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
June 06, 2019

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will be welcoming his grandson, Michael Savarino, to the team this upcoming season, according to The News & Observer.

Savarino, an 18-year-old point guard from Durham Academy in North Carolina, told WRAL radio station in Raleigh that he will be a preferred walk-on at his grandfather's program. The incoming freshman would have been a Division II player had he not chosen to walk on.

"I've always tried to avoid that reputation of living in your grandfather's shadow," Savarino told WRAL. "I chose this because I feel like I earned it. I feel like I've worked hard every single day for this. I wanted to come to Duke because I wanted to be a part of this program. I want to embrace everything about it and just play under my grandfather, who I've watched my whole life."

Krzyzewski, 72, has never coached a close family member despite being a five-time NCAA champion and coaching the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant for Team USA.

"He loves the game, so he wanted to play college basketball," Krzyzewski said. "He went to all these camps, but he loves Duke. He wanted to come to Duke and I was happy about that because he earned it and if he's coming to Duke, then he should be a part of our basketball program because he's good enough to be a walk-on.

"I won't coach him like a grandson and he doesn't want me to coach him like my grandson," Krzyzewski added. "He wants me to coach him as a basketball player."

Duke finished the 2018 regular season 29–5 and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Michigan State. 

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