JJ Redick reveals how close he came to going to Florida before committing to Duke
JJ Redick was a staple at Duke during the early 2000s, becoming one of the best sharpshooters of his era.
He took that skill set with him to the NBA, where he has enjoyed a long career with the Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and, now, the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, during a podcast episode this week, Redick revealed he almost didn’t end up at Duke. In fact, he said he also considered Virginia and Florida (via 247Sports):
“I almost did go to UVA. Basically, Duke was my dream school. I had wanted to go there since I was 8 years old,” Redick said during his latest podcast episode with Tommy Alter. “As I was in high school and playing for Boo Williams, I realized UVA would be a great option, too. I took a couple campus tours, unofficial visits or whatever. Two of my teammates (with) Boo Williams, Elton Brown and Jason Clark, they were my closest friends. They were going to UVA. I was really drawn to the idea of playing with those guy at UVA, staying in state, all that stuff.
“So fall of my junior year, in September I took a visit to UVA, a visit to Duke and I was supposed to go the following weekend to the University of Florida. Those were my top-three schools. Billy Donovan was there. So I go to UVA, great visit, great time. I go to Duke. When I’m in the room with Coach K, he basically said, ‘you can commit. You have an offer.’
“I get back to Virginia and I’m supposed to go to Florida with my sister. My parents weren’t even going with me. It was their Midnight Madness. David Lee and I were friends. He was coming down from St. Louis. This weekend is going to be awesome. And then by like Tuesday night, I was like ‘man I don’t even want to go.’ The Duke thing was so heavy on me. So I was like ‘I’m just going to commit.’ I wanted to get the commitment out of the way and just enjoy the last two seasons of my high-school career so I committed that Wednesday to Duke. I got on the phone with Coach K and told him I was coming. If I had went to Gainesville, who knows?”
Redick averaged 14.9 points per game for the Pelicans this season, appearing in 54 games. We’ll see if he can help the Pelicans if and when New Orleans resumes its season.