Amile Jefferson had to make a big decision earlier this week in regards to his college career. Jefferson, Friends’ Central All-American basketball player, will play his college basketball at Duke University. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound senior, was one of the top high school recruits in the country. He selected Duke over North Carolina State, Villanova, Kentucky and Ohio State.
“I think it was the great combination of athletics and academics,” Jefferson said. “Duke is a prestigious school.”
Those were just a couple reasons why Jefferson chose the Blue Devils. Another is Duke’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is also the U.S. Olympic basketball coach. Krzyzewski has won four NCAA championships during his coaching career.
“When they started recruiting me, it was an honor and a privilege,” Jefferson said. “It wouldn’t get any bigger for me to go and play for Coach K knowing all the great players he’s coached. For me to have a chance to play for him is definitely a blessing.”
There’s a lot of history between Duke and Philadelphia. The Blue Devils have recruited a number of players from the area, most notably Gene Banks, who played for West Philadelphia High School and Gerald Henderson from Episcopal Academy. Duke has played Temple and Villanova over the years. Jefferson will be a part of that great history.
Basketball has been in his family for a long time. His father, Malcolm Musgrove, was a terrific basketball player at West Philadelphia High and Delaware State. He was very pleased with his decision.
“I’m excited,” Musgrove said. “I’m ready for him to start the next chapter in his life. I think he made a really informed decision. I look forward to seeing him in a Duke uniform. I think Coach K is going to take care of him.”
His mother, Quetta Jefferson, feels Duke will give him an opportunity to succeed on and off the court.
“I am really excited,” Jefferson said. “It’s the best place for him. He’s definitely going to go to the next level there. He needs to go there especially for the academics. Athletically, Coach K is going to turn him into the man he needs to be. It’s going to be great.”
Jason Polykoff, Friends’ Central head coach, believes Duke is a great choice for Jefferson.
“It’s a perfect fit for him,” Polykoff said. “I think he’s excited about it. When you talked about the balance between academics and athletics, it’s just like Friends’ Central. That’s what we pride ourselves on. I couldn’t be any happier for him. He’s going to walk into Cameron Indoor Stadium and they’re going to love him immediately.”
Jefferson averaged 19.9 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. He led Friends’ Central to a 22-5 record this season. He was named to the McDonald’s High School All-American team. He was one of top ranked in the nation according to ESPN.com and Rivals.com.