Mackenzie Mgbako is a consensus top five player in the 2023 class, who dominated the Nike EYBL this past summer and this high school season with Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.). Mgbako wrote an exclusive blog for Sports Illustrated breaking down the thought process behind his decision to commit to Duke over Kentucky.
What’s up world, I’m excited to say that I am officially committed to The Brotherhood at Duke!
Man! I’m just really happy to officially be a part of the family at Duke, it was a tough process, but I knew that Duke was the best place for me.
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It really came down to Duke and Kentucky at the end.
What made me pick Duke was, first, my connection with Coach (Jon) Scheyer. He’s been the guy that’s been mainly recruiting me, and we got really close. He’s just a really genuine guy and someone that you know has your best interest in mind. He’s hungry too!
He played at Duke and now he’s going to be the head coach there after Coach K so he’s just super focused on winning. He’s a very relatable person to talk to. He’s been through all of this before, so he understands it all on a different level.
I remember the moment that I knew that I was gonna go to Duke, I was talking to my parents about cutting my list and I just kept thinking more and more about Duke and how much I wanted to go there. It was over at that point.
When I called Coach Scheyer to tell him, he was so happy! He immediately put me on with the whole staff and everybody was excited. Then we got on FaceTime with Coach K and he was smiling and happy too!
Of course, he’s not gonna be my coach, but it’s all a family at Duke, and I got to know him throughout the process.
The other part about Duke was the connection I have with the guys in my class that have committed to Duke.
When Sean (Stewart) committed he hit me up right away recruiting me. We all just clicked and we’re all pretty tight already.
The way they want to use me there is similar to the way they used Paolo (Banchero) this season. Obviously, I have to show up every day and work harder than ever, but that’s the vision they have for me.
It was wild watching Duke play in the Final Four because I knew that I was gonna commit but no one else did, so I had to just stay cool. I hated to see them lose though!
Everything is great now because I can just focus on basketball, AAU and school. It’s definitely a relief to know where I’m going, but I will say that I did enjoy the process.
In the end, Duke felt more like family. The Brotherhood is a real thing.
OK guys, I just wanted to let you in on my thought process with the decision, but I’ve gotta get back to work.
Thanks again for reading and I’ll be back soon with my next blog.
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