City Sports Report

Jahlil Okafor says winning championship “would mean the world to me”


Jahlil Okafor entered today’s game differently than he usually does.  “I had a lot of emotion going through me before the game. Me and my brothers, we really just wanted this game. There was no reason for it, I don’t know why I did it, it was just all emotion and I was passionate about the game.”  That emotion showed, as Okafor scored 18 points in the first half and finished with 26 points on 12-16 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks as the Duke Blue Devils defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 68-49.

After the game, Okafor was asked what winning a championship, four wins away, would mean.  “It would mean the world to me. I’ve always wanted to win a national title. Me, Justise, Tyus, Grayson, the freshman who are coming in here, we had one big dream of winning the national title. That’s what led me to come to Duke was the opportunity to win a national title. That’s where all my focus has been the entire season and that’s where it still is. We’re putting everything on the line and that’s our No. 1 goal.”

Okafor also talked about his post play.  “I’ve been playing basketball my entire life so a lot of the things come natural, I’m just really comfortable playing in the post and I’ve always been bigger than everybody else my size, so at an earlier age I was always forced to be in the paint because I was taller than everybody else. That’s just somewhere I’m very comfortable.”  Okafor continued, saying “I have a trainer that I’ve been working with since 8th grade and he’s been great for me, even when I stepped on the Duke campus, I worked on a lot of moves with Coach Capel and watching the film with coaches, they pointed out things that they’ll think will work and it’s been effective for me.”

Jahlil also complimented the play of his teammates.  “Our guards, they were phenomenal tonight on both ends of the floor. They found me multiple times to give me easy opportunities to score and they were giving me all the confidence in the world, but I think their quickness did give San Diego State a problem.”

The future NBA star also talked about not letting up when you have a large lead.  “Just the game’s never over. We had a huge lead with Robert Morris and they cut it down to 10 and we kind of felt the pressure of that game and we learnt that from this game and we never let up, the entire game we stayed together, we kept competing.”  If they keep competing on this level, they might just be cutting down the net as 2015 NCAA Champions.

Click here for Coach K calling Okafor “the best low-post scorer in the country”

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One Comment

  1. Pingback: Mike Krzyzewski calls Okafor "the best low post scorer"

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