Jalen Duren is an SI All-American and one of the top overall players in the country, regardless of class, with schools like Kentucky, Miami, Memphis, among many others, all giving chase. The 6-foot-10 forward led Montverde (Fla.) Academy to the GEICO Nationals title this past season, averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks a game. Now he’s agreed to give SI All-American exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
Hey, what’s up world, it’s Jalen Duren back with another blog for you guys. Glad you tuned in!
Well, I’m coming off my third official visit and all of them were great!
My first visit was to Miami, and I learned a lot about the program just talking to Coach (Jim) Larranaga and his staff. I like the makeup of their team and the guys that they have there.
All in all, it was just a great chance to spend some time with the staff and the players and just get to know each other. It’s so hard to do that through Zooms, so it was perfect.
I went to Memphis after that, and that’s a place I’ve never really been before.
I’ve played in tournaments there, but it was really just to the gyms and back to the hotel, so to be able to spend some time in the city was a lot of fun.
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Just being able to hangout with Coach Penny (Hardaway) and his staff and learn about how they changed the culture there was interesting.
The big thing was they felt like they could teach me how to be a pro and really take my game to another level.
I definitely had some of the famous Memphis barbecue and I can’t lie, it lived up to the hype!
I really enjoyed everything about that visit.
My most recent visit was to Kentucky and it was great.
I spent a lot of time just getting to know Coach (John) Calipari and the staff and spending time with the players. We had a lot of fun, just kicking it.
Even though there weren’t as many students on campus with it being the summer and all, I could still tell that the fans are great! Especially on social media, they really showed a lot of love, which was cool!
I definitely saw how I could fit in there and, more importantly, how I could improve in that system.
That’s a big thing for me because I’m always looking to get better!
I feel like all three visits were a 10 out o f 10.
I’m planning to make a cut to my list on Friday, so be on the lookout for that.
I know there are a lot of rumors flying around about my plans and things like that, but this is what I want everyone to know: Anything that is going on with me comes from either me or my mom.
If it’s not from there you just know not to believe it.
I don’t know where people get things from, but the only thing I can control is myself and any news with me will come from me. Don’t believe it otherwise.
OK, so I’m very excited about Peach Jam next month!
Even with my visits I’m putting in work and staying on the grind to stay ready. We want to win it and we feel like we have a great chance of winning this year!
We haven’t lost a regulation game this summer, so we’re very confident, but we know we’re gonna have to take it up a level to get it done.
Speaking of getting it done, I’m picking the Suns to win it all this year!
I just like their energy and I feel like they have the momentum. They’re coming out of nowhere and beating everybody. D Book is amazing, CP is, of course, CP!
I feel like they’re clicking at the right time, and I love how they play together.
OK guys, I’ve gotta get back to the grind, but I appreciate you reading.
Check back soon for another update and be safe out there.
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