Andre Dawkins may head to Duke early

  • Pin It
Graduation, an early exit to the NBA and a late transfer left Duke unusually frail at guard entering next basketball season.

But an unexpected option has emerged that could address the shortage.

Andre Dawkins, Mike Krzyzewski's first Hampton Roads recruit, is considering whether to enroll at Duke a year ahead of schedule.

Given that Dawkins is sharp academically, skilled athletically and has attended high school for four years, the alternative may prove best for all parties.

Dawkins, a 6-foot-5 wing with exceptional shooting range, recently completed his third year of schooling and basketball at Atlantic Shores Christian in Chesapeake.

A staple of Boo Williams' summer program, he selected Duke last June and planned to enroll in 2010.

But as his father, also named Andre, explained Wednesday, Dawkins has completed his core academic requirements and is close to graduating from Atlantic Shores.

"His grades are strong," the elder Dawkins said. "He's ahead of the game. He took Algebra I in the seventh grade. He took (advanced placement) stats and chemistry this year."

Whether or not he heads to Duke next month, Dawkins' Atlantic Shores career appears over. He has applied for admission to Hargrave Military Academy, a prep school in Chatham whose alumni include first-round NBA draft choices David West and Josh Howard.

"We wanted to challenge him a little bit athletically," Dawkins' father said.

The Dawkins family moved to Chesapeake from Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2005, and as a ninth-grader that fall Andre attended Deep Creek High, where he played on the junior varsity.

He transferred to Atlantic Shores the following year and reclassified, for basketball purposes, as a ninth-grader.

So Dawkins certainly could graduate this summer and qualify for admission at Duke. But even with point guard Greg Paulus' graduation and wing Gerald Henderson's departure to the NBA, that seemed unnecessary.

Then last month, guard Elliot Williams, whose late-season progress helped the Blue Devils win the 2009 ACC tournament, revealed plans to return to his hometown of Memphis for family reasons. Suddenly, Krzyzewski had two scholarship guards for next season: Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer.

For a program that aspires to annual Final Four contention, that's not enough.

Enter Dawkins?

"I think he's ready (for college basketball), and I think it's a good opportunity for him," Boo Williams said. "I think he's got a chance to be a really good player. He's got some things to learn on the defensive end."

There's the rub. Elliot Williams developed into a capable defender last season, and only then was Krzyzewski willing to start him.

But given his roster, Krzyzewski may need to accept youthful defensive lapses in exchange for depth and long-range scoring.

  • Pin It