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Sport Duke Commit Caleb Foster Taking His Game to New Heights

22:11  03 november  2021
22:11  03 november  2021 Source:   si.com

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Foster is one of the top point guards in the country, regardless of class.

Caleb Foster knew it was coming, and the foresight had him fully prepared.

Last month when the 6’3” point guard picked Duke over Virginia, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas and others, he knew the proverbial bull’s-eye would grow on his back.

Bigger than the one he’s already wearing from being a five-star prospect and bigger than the one that comes with being the floor general at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), one of the most well-known powerhouses in high school basketball.

Yes, Duke commits get more attention from opposing defenses, but it’s traditionally been more heightened for future Blue Devil point guards.

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“The coaches told me when I committed that committing there means a lot and it’s worldwide,” Foster said. “It’s a legendary program and there have been legendary point guards that have come out of Duke. It’s pretty incredible, so I understand it.”

To combat the extra attention, Foster shifted his mentality; he wasn’t content with being the hunted, he wanted to be the hunter.

“I’m not waiting for guys to come at me, I’m going at them first,” said Foster, a junior. “I don’t care who it is, I’m bringing it to them first. I want to prove to people that I can win and lead a team, so I’m taking it up a notch.”

That much was evident this summer when Foster dominated the competition with Team Curry (N.C.) on the Under Armour Association. He’s elevated from that point this preseason in key showcases like the Top Flight Invite where he averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Virginia Gold (Oak Hill Academy) to the title in Las Vegas.

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Caleb Foster said he's focusing on winning a national title at Oak Hill then at Duke. NIBC © Provided by Sports Illustrated Caleb Foster said he's focusing on winning a national title at Oak Hill then at Duke. NIBC

That included a 20-point, 11-assist outing against Prolific Prep’s (Napa, Calif.) star point guard Dior Johnson, an Oregon commit who is widely regarded as one of the top three point guards in the 2022 class.

Last week, he led Oak Hill past Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.), 119-105, posting 37 points, including 9 of 11 from the three-point line, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in the win.

“Last year was kinda my first year playing at this level, but this year I know what to expect,” Foster said. “Coach (Steve) Smith told me that I’d need to lead the team and I’ve really focused on that and doing the little things it takes to win.”

From Rod Strickland to Brandon Jennings, legendary Oak Hill coach Steve Smith has had 10 point guards go on to play in the NBA, and said Foster has a “great chance” to achieve the same success.

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“He’s got all the tools and he really wants to get better all the time,” Smith said. “He’s a big guard and he’s tactical with his approach; you’re not gonna speed him up and he’s always thinking out there. He’s a great shooter and he really competes on both ends. I feel like he can be the best point guard in the country this season.”

Foster doesn’t lack for confidence but admitted hearing Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer tell him that he’d have a chance to step right in and “be his guy” at the point elevated his confidence.

Scheyer will takeover the reins at Duke next season when Mike Krzyzewski retires after this season.

“That was big to hear,” Foster said of Scheyer’s message. “It made me just want to work as hard as possible to be ready when that time comes. I want to be as ready as I possibly can be.”

As it stands, Foster’s time won’t come for another two years, but he left the door open to potentially moving up his arrival in Durham.

“The reclass is possible, but as of right now I’m sticking with my class,” Foster said. “I’m just focused on my season and winning GEICO Nationals. That’s the best thing that I can do to be ready when I get to Duke. I want to win a national championship here at Oak Hill and I want to win a national championship as soon as I get to Duke. That’s gonna take hard work, and I’m all in for that.”

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usr: 1
This is interesting!