Last December I watched Trevon Duval electrify the crowd at Pulaski County High School. The top-ranked point guard dominated for API prep school en route to a victory.
The physical, explosive penetrator visited UK the previous night with his teammate, power forward Billy Preston, but only because API was playing in Lexington. That interaction was one of the few times UK appeared interested in Duval.
New to the basketball recruiting game, I couldn’t understand why Calipari was ignoring the nation’s No. 1 point guard. Trae Young is great, but when he turned his attention to Tremont Waters, it made even less sense.
Finally, one source revealed, “Calipari doesn’t recruit players from API.” I understood there was bad blood from a previous endeavor, but that couldn’t be the only reason Cal stayed away.
The other reason Calipari stayed away from Duval: Under Armor. From NBC’s Rob Dauster:
“Duval plays for We-R-1 on the travel circuit, a program that is sponsored by UA. He played his junior season at API, a high school program in Texas that was sponsored by Under Armour. Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrence Ferguson, the last two elite prospects to forego college to head directly to the professional ranks overseas, both came from API and reportedly signed sponsorship deals with UA. If UA has a reputation at the grassroots level, it’s that they’re as loyal as any of the three major shoe companies. They do everything they can to keep it all in the family.”
In Duval’s Top 10 list, Seton Hall and St. John’s are Under Armor schools. “I’m not saying, I’m just saying.”