The recruitment of Philadelphia basketball Phenom Jalen Duren

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 04 Villanova at Seton Hall
NEWARK, NJ – MARCH 04: Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright during the second half of the college basketball game between the Seton Hall Pirates and the Villanova Wildcats on March 4, 2020 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Kobe Bryant, Rasheed Wallace, Wilt Chamberlain, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe just to name a few are names who became legends of basketball out of Philadelphia. 2022 five-star center Jalen Duren could be next in line of Philadelphia basketball greats. He is ranked the number two player in the 2022 basketball class second to man child Emoni Bates. Duren has maintained his position as a top-five talent in all of high school basketball and the most dominating low-post presence.  

The 6-10, 220 lbs center is evolving into a scary talented basketball prospect. He recently transferred from Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the legendary Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. At Roman Catholic Duren was beyond dominant, in his freshman season, he averaged 12.8 points 9.3 rebounds 1.2 steals 2.5 blocks shooting an outstanding 71% from the field. Playing USA basketball, he continued to dominate making the 2019 FIBA America U16 Championship All-Star Five. Duren averaged 10.3 points and led the team with 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. He helped lead the FIBA team to a 6-0 record and a gold medal. 

In one of the most intense recruiting battles in high school basketball, several top programs are recruiting Duren. Alabama was the first to make an offer and is one of the top teams involved, according to 247 sports. Georgetown was another team to make things official, while Howard received a commitment from elite 2020 prospect Makur Maker. The HBCU program has been hot on the recruiting trail as they also offered Duren.  

But the programs to watch for Duren are Villanova and recent offer Kentucky. The two wildcat programs are no stranger to recruiting battles as Nova won Bryan Antoine in2019 and Kentucky recently won Devin Askew. Villanova has not only been recruiting Jalen Duren but his teammate and friend 2022 elite shooting guard Justice Williams, who also transferred from Roman Catholic to Montverde with Duren, very hard for a very long time. Kentucky, so far, has only offered Duren while Villanova has offered both. It will be down to the wire as Duke is also recruiting Duren.  

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Blue Devils offer Duren or possibly both Duke and Kentucky get involved with Williams to further persuade Duren to commit to either program. Duren is also a prospect who could go straight to the pros either through the G-League route or exercise the rule that enables high school players to go straight to the NBA draft goes into play. Either way the decision of Jalen Duren should be one of the most exciting and most talked about recruitments in the country. 

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire