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“If you want to win now, then choose me!” Older rookie with the 13th overall pick-Chris Duarte-NBA-Basketball

The 2021 NBA draft is generally known as a draft year, and the reason why a draft year is considered a draft year is not only because there are many players who can influence the future of the ball, but also have a lot of combat power. The cash-out rate is extremely high and can be a player who can become the backbone of the team.

And this year really does live up to the title of the draft year. Since the beginning of the season, many players have paid outstanding performances. Among them, Chris Duarte, the 13th overall pick, is the starter of the Pacers and has so far paid 13.3 points. With a score of 4.2 rebounds and 2 assists, he may have a higher degree of discussion in the rookie of the year than Jalen Green, No. 1 pick, or even No. 1 Cade Cunningham.

There is always a rumor in the past drafts, when you have the 13th overall and don’t know who to pick, then pick a shooting guard! From the beginning of Kobe to Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Donovon Mitchell, Tyler Herro, these new generations of shooting guards all have the 13th overall pick, and now this torch is about to be picked up by Chris Duarte? Let us first take a good look at the 24-year-old “older rookie.”

Basketball boy from a major baseball country

“The NBA is really difficult for a teenager from Dominican Republic.”
“Because entering MLB is the dream of every Dominican child.”

Born in a country where baseball is a national sport, Duarte grew up playing baseball like many local kids, and even now he says he can shoot 90-mile speedballs. But precisely because in such a big baseball country, it is extremely difficult to take the “non-mainstream” path of basketball.

“I started playing basketball when I was thirteen.”
“But when I started playing basketball, there were really not many opportunities.”

Because his brother likes to play basketball, Duarte also began to like basketball. However, without resources, equipment, and personal connections, it is very difficult to become a professional basketball player. Not to mention Duarte came into contact with basketball very late, although quite He is talented but the basic skills are very bad, and there is basically no chance in the local high school.

In the meeting of fate, Duarte came to the United States with his family. Although this means that Duarte has a bigger stage to develop his basketball skills, it also means that he will leave his hometown and come to an unfamiliar land.

“I have no money there, and no family to take care of me.”
“I don’t understand English well, and I don’t know how to speak.”
“Before coming to the United States, I would just say, “Hey, I’m hungry.””
“I miss home, I still remember crying.”
“But I told myself that I must stay strong because this is the path I chose.”
“After two years, I gradually got used to it.”

Since he had not received systematic training before, Duarte had to spend two years in high school in the United States. The unfamiliar environment made Duarte very uncomfortable. Leaving his familiar hometown and family made Duarte feel lonely, but fortunately He persevered. Although the basic skills were too short and not solid enough because of his short age, the 6-foot-5 he was capable of playing any position on the team, and his excellent physical fitness made up for his lack of experience, which made him rated as a ball player. The Samsung high school student was favored by Western Kentucky University, but due to his unsatisfactory academic performance, Duarte did not play a game for the school in the first year.

At this time, Duarte can choose to make up the score and wait for the second year’s chance to play, or choose to play in the next-tier NJCAA league, and Duarte chose the latter. He joined Northwest Florida State University, and in his freshman year as a substitute, he scored 12.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2 steals, and led the team to the quarterfinals. Such excellent performance also attracted the attention of the University of Oregon, and this NCAA-level school also offered an olive branch to Duarte.

“He is a very good athlete.”
“He set a high milestone for this school.”
“I look forward to his growth and performance in Oregon and even after college.”

Duarte finally agreed to transfer to the University of Oregon in his junior year, but he still had a dazzling performance in his sophomore season at Northwest Florida State University. He played the first game throughout the season. He led the team with 19 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. After reaching the quarterfinals for two consecutive years, he was also selected as the player of the year and the first team of the year. These honors not only put an end to his NJCAA career, but also announced the beginning of another stage.

Chris Duarte, Oregon Ducks basketball signee, named NJCAA national player  of the year - oregonlive.com

Counterattack from losing to the middle of the first round

“The first time I saw Chris Duarte was when he was in his junior year.”
“At the time, I thought he had great potential. He had a good figure on the wing, and his attitude was positive and serious.”
“Although I have a very positive opinion of him, at the moment I can’t guarantee that he will play in the NBA.”

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