AJ Griffin makes an opening statement to the NBA

DURHAM- Duke Men’s Basketball Freshman AJ Griffin announced that he would enter his name in the 2022 NBA draft. The All-ACC Honorable Mention selection and ACC All-Freshman team member intends to hire an agent.

“I know a lot of kids grow up dreaming that they could wear that Duke uniform and play at Cameron Indoor Stadium,” Griffin said. “I was one of those kids growing up, and I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity. As I state for the 2022 NBA Draft, I’m filled with gratitude. It was an honor to play for Duke and representing The Brotherhood. It was a dream come true. My experiences have helped prepare me for this moment and I’m proud to know that I will be a blue devil for life.

The Ossining, NY native was one of the best freshman three-point shooters in the nation last season. His .447 three-point field goal percentage (71 of 159) ranked fifth-best in school history and the best by a Blue Devil since Greg Paulus shot .450 (68 of 151) as a sophomore in 2007. On Duke’s freshman list, Griffin’s three-point percentage ranked second behind Daniel Ewing’s .457 mark (32 of 70) in 2002.

“AJ was one of the best shooters in the country and his skills are exactly what NBA teams are looking for,” the head coach said. Mike Krzyzewski, who retired after that season. “He is a remarkable young man who comes from a beautiful family and they will certainly be missed. AJ showed up every day with a smile on his face and his positive energy was contagious. We appreciate everything he has done for our program. and know that great things will come to him.”

For the season, Griffin was one of five Blue Devils to average double digits at 10.4 points per game. He averaged 3.9 rebounds and shot .493 from the field in addition to his .447 three-point mark. The freshman was Duke’s second-leading scorer in ACC play with 12.6 points per game, while shooting .489 (46 of 94) from behind the arc and averaging 4.5 rebounds.

A two-time ACC No. 1 pick of the week, Griffin had a career-high 27 points in Duke’s 87-67 win at North Carolina on Feb. 5 and went 22 of 5 of 5 on a three-point range in a win. in Louisville on January 29. He also went 22 on 8-for-11 shooting in a win at Wake Forest in mid-January. His 18 points against Arkansas in the NCAA West Tournament Regional Finals was a team record to help the Blue Devils advance to the Final Four.

Duke has had at least one player selected in 34 of 41 NBA drafts under Krzyzewski. Coach K has led 68 draft picks since taking over the program from the Blue Devils, including a draft-record 42 first-round selections.