HAMPTON, Va. – Dariq Whitehead wants to be humble, but he also doesn’t want you to get it confused; He’s widely regarded as a top five player in the 2022 class for a reason.
“I feel like I have to remind people during the spring,” Whitehead said. “I play my role during the high school season, but I’m capable of a lot more.”
Whitehead was one of five players who averaged double figures at Montverde (Fla.) Academy this past season. The Eagles finished 25-1 and captured their fifth GEICO Nationals title last month.
“All of us can go out there and get 30 points a game,” Whitehead said. “But we play our roles, and we buy in because winning is the only goal for all of us. During the spring, I have a different role and because of that people see all of the aspects of my game. That’s all I’m doing out here.”
He did that well on this past weekend at the Southern JamFest, pumping in 23 points and seven rebounds for Team Durant (Md.).
“It’s fun to come out here and kinda get loose,” Whitehead said. “That’s always fun, but I like playing my role too. Nothing feels better than winning.”
Whitehead said his “buy-in” mentality is to prepare him for the next level and beyond.
“You can count on one hand the number of guys who come into the NBA in year one and are able to do what they want,” Whitehead said. “You always have to play a role. I know that it’s better that I learn that now, so I can be at my best in college and beyond.”
Whitehead certainly isn’t lacking for suitors; Kentucky, Auburn, Florida State, Memphis, Kansas, UCLA, Oklahoma State, among many others are all applying the full-court recruiting press.
Whitehead will take an official visit to Duke on June 11, which is especially notable since Whitehead grew up a fan of the Blue Devils.
“I’m a big fan of Coach K and what he has done at Duke,” Whitehead said.
Be that as it may, Whitehead contended that he’s “a ways away” from even formatting a list of schools he wants to focus on, let alone a decision.
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“Right now, we’re just thinking about how and when we want to cut the list, where we want to take visits, if it’s better to wait and see who goes where, everything,” Whitehead said. “I’m just enjoying the process right now and remaining open. I know this is a big decision, so I want to be thorough with every part of it.”