Always in the shadow of New York City, New Jersey has never received the right amount of credit when it comes to supplying basketball talent. But while the mecca has been silent over the past few years, New Jersey has been knee deep in elite point guards, some that became high school legends before advancing to the NBA. Kyrie Irving. Kyle Anderson. Tyler Ennis. Incoming Kentucky freshman Isaiah Briscoe.
Though he didn’t come up in the Garden State, and though there are reports he may look to play elsewhere this upcoming season, Class of 2017 point guard Trevon Duval from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark could be next in line. Duval, who was born in Queens and grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, averaged 15.9 points per game and helped lead St. Benedict’s to the Prep A title last season as a sophomore. He was also featured in the same AAU backcourt with Briscoe with the Playaz basketball club, whose alumni includes Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, and J.R. Smith, among many others.
This summer playing in the Under Armour circuit with WeR1, Duval elevated his game and became the star of the NBPA Top 100 camp, scoring a showcase-best 30 points. Throughout the week at the recent Under Armour Elite 24, Duval made his claim to be the top overall point guard in the class of 2017. Some evaluators even mentioned he might be the top point guard prospect in all of high school.
Duval might be quiet but his game is loud. The 6-2 guard has a tremendous frame for the position and it is easy to see why Derrick Rose is one of the few players he models his game after. Duval knows how to attack the basket and get to the rim using his slippery handle. As one of the youngest prospects invited to the Elite 24, he was poised beyond his years and had scouts chattering during practice because of his play as a dynamic lead guard.
Dennis Smith Jr. De’Aaron Fox. Kobi Simmons. The Class of 2016 is loaded with top point guards, a fact that’ll probably cause Duval to fly under the radar until about this time next year. But trust, Trevon Duval has just about every school in the nation after him. By the end of this basketball season, whether he is still playing for St. Benedict’s or for another school, his name is going to be everywhere. Get to know him now.
I had the opportunity to talk with Duval about his UA Elite 24 experience, what he has been working on this summer, and his favorite pair of sneakers.
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What are some things you have been working on this summer?
Working on developing my outside shot more and showing everyone that I am a pretty good playmaker.
What has been your most memorable basketball moment so far?
I will never forget the game I won the AAU national championship. It was like in third grade and I played with D.C. Assault and with a lot of kids from the D.C. area. We probably lost about just one game that year and we ended up winning the title.
What is your favorite pair of sneakers in your sneaker collection?
I have a big sneaker collection. But that is hard. I am going to have to say the Air Jordan IV. I have these all-black patent leather IVs, they not the original ones but I like them. I can wear them with anything.
How would you describe your style off the court?
Everyone tells me I am real laid-back, I am just a chill guy, you know. I crack jokes all the time. I’m just always laughing, trying to have fun.
What NBA player do you try to model your game after?
Derrick Rose. I try to play like him when I attack the basket and to try and be aggressive with his athleticism. On the ground, I try to play like Kyrie Irving and his playmaking ability to get anywhere on the floor.
How would you describe your Elite 24 experience?
This is great. This here shows that dreams really can come true. When I was younger, I used to go to the first Elite 24 games when they was at Rucker Park and now that I have played in the game, it’s like a blessing.
Do you have any goals for the upcoming basketball season?
My goals is just to have fun and give the crowd a show.
Follow Jarrel on Twitter at @_JarrelHarris