Duke Basketball Reportedly Recruited French Star, Top Draft Prospect

An insider's report suggests the Duke basketball staff was in pursuit of Nolan Traore.
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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Nolan Traore never publicized a Duke basketball offer or any visits from the coaches in Durham. But it sounds like Jon Scheyer and his crew were at least showing significant interest in the 6-foot-5 guard from France, already a projected 2025 lottery pick in the eyes of most.

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According to a feature piece courtesy of ESPN's Jonathan Givony on Saturday morning, Traore "spurned offers from across the globe to remain in his home country," as he's decided to sign with French basketball club Saint-Quentin.

Givony added that the likes of Duke, Arkansas, Gonzaga, and Alabama were recruiting the 18-year-old Traore.

"It was cool to have all these programs interested in me," Traore told Givony.

Now, as Givony explained, the crafty, tempo-pushing perimeter talent is rapidly climbing his way toward the top shelf of 2025 NBA Draft big boards:

"Traore was a projected lottery pick in ESPN's first 2025 mock draft published in February, but will be ranked in the top-5 in the next update after an explosive spring that featured standout showings in different venues across the globe."

Meanwhile, the Duke basketball recruiters are undoubtedly pleased with the six-deep collection of incoming freshmen they secured on the 2024 trail. After all, it's the nation's top-ranked bunch, highlighted by the cycle's premier prep in five-star forward Cooper Flagg, the early frontrunner to get drafted No. 1 overall next summer.

All but one of those Blue Devil newcomers is in Durham this week, helping out with K Academy and getting acquainted with what will be their new home upon their return to campus this summer.

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Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on SI.com.