ACC Basketball: Forward Harry Giles, Top Player in ESPN 100 for 2016, Commits to Duke

As the saying goes, the rich get richer.

This has certainly been the case for the Duke Blue Devils in basketball for quite some time, as Coach K and company always find a way to regroup and reload, even after attrition and the consistent turnover to the NBA. After winning the 2014-2015 National Championship and losing key players such as Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, among others, to the NBA, the Blue Devils have ramped up for this season with the nation’s top recruiting class. In the process and due to their most recent national title, they have already inevitably gotten off to a great start with the 2016 Class, gaining the most prized recruit in the country in the process.

On Friday afternoon, 2016 ESPN 100’s #1 prospect, forward Harry Giles (6’10” 230 lbs./Oak Hill Academy) committed to the Blue Devils in an emotional ceremony surrounded by his closest family and friends. Giles, a North Carolina native from the Winston-Salem area, has been playing his high school ball at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, a renowned basketball factory for many top college prospects. The commitment to Duke marks a happy ending to a rough week for Giles, who partially tore the ACL in his right knee early in a game on Tuesday night, effectively ending his senior high school season. He has already suffered significant ligament damage in his left knee in the past, but overcame the ailments to become the country’s top high school player. This injury is not considered to be nearly as serious, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Giles cited a desire to play with his good friend Jayson Tatum, a teammate of his from International play for Team USA’s U-19 squad, as being a sizable factor in his decision. Tatum, a 6’8″ small forward, committed to the Blue Devils back in July, and is the #2 overall recruit in the class of 2016. Overall, Duke now sports three of the top 15 prospects in the 2016 class, and four of the top 50 in total, putting the Blue Devils in prime position to have the nation’s top recruiting class for the second straight season.

The Blue Devils begin their national title defense next Friday night, November 13th, against Siena. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 ET on ESPNU.


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