Why Jaylen Blakes could be a future captain for Duke basketball

Joe Mantegna has a power that few high school basketball coaches across the country possession. When he talks, even the most elite college coaches and recruiters listen. He’s earned that right.

The coach for Blair Academy – a New Jersey boarding school just west of New York City – has put nearly 100 players on Division I rosters over the last two decades: a list that includes Duke’s Luol Deng, UConn’s Charlie Villanueva and Texas’ Royal Ivey. He’s won four state titles since 2009 and 418 games.

So, when Mantegna called Jon Scheyer in 2019 to discuss Jaylen Blakes, a four-star junior combo guard that had led the Bucs to a state title that season, Duke’s future head coach did the only thing he could – he listened.

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