Kyrie Irving, one of my favorite past players from Duke. With the NBA finals coming up, I thought this would be a good time to do a post about Kyrie. Coming out of St. Patrick High School in New Jersey, little 15 year old Kyrie Irving would become one of basketball's biggest stars.
We'll start with being noticed by Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the greatest coach of all time in my opinion. "He wasn't playing with the best team in New Jersey, but he was single-handedly killing all these teams" Coach K tells bleacher report magazine. Kyrie committed to Duke in 2009. In the words of Coach K to Irving, "You'll be one of the best of your genration" and he was so right. Unfortunately Kyrie's college career was short lived at Duke, only playing 11 games of his one and only season. He sat out 26 due to a toe injury on his right foot. In the 11 games that he did play, he scored double figures in all of them. Three games of 20 or more points, and one with at least 30 points. He returned from his injury in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2011, where he scored a team high of 14 points and helped lead the team to beat Hamilton. This win lead Duke to the sweet 16, where Kyrie scored another team high, this time 28 points. He also scored 31 points in the game against Michigan State. Kyrie's 31 points that game was marked as the fourth time a Duke freshman has scored 30 or more points in a game, and he was also tied for the second most for a freshman. Also managed to break the Duke freshman free throw record, making 13 of the 16 attempted. Other accomplishments include; being named the CBE Classic MVP, he was the fifth point guard to start under Coach K as a freshman since Jay Williams in 1999, and also set a freshman record for assists in a season opener, with nine assist (which also tied for fourth overall in a season opener at Duke).
Those were just a few to name for his college career. Before being selected as the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, by the Cleveland Cavaliers, he achieved a number of awards. These included the 2011-2012 NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA Three-Point Shootout champion of 2013, he won the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2014, and helped snag the 2016 NBA Championship title. Kyrie also played for the United States national team, winning USA Male Athlete of the Year in 2014. He also won the gold at the 2014 FIBA (international basketball association) Basketball World Cup, along with the 2016 Summer Olympics. Way to go Kyrie!
Being such a great talent on the court, off the court he always seemed to be down to earth. One of the many reasons why I liked him as a Duke player, and still do to this day. I feel he hasn't let the fame get to his head like most do, he appreciates his blessings. I also like that he is quick to let you know where he came from (talking about Duke). It's obvious he has mad love for Duke still, creating his Duke "player edition" shoe each year, and always steady supporting and reppin' the Blue Devils. Kyrie has definitely made some amazing accomplishments in his life as a basketball player and continues to amaze me in how he plays, he's just a monster on the court. The other day I came across an article on bleacher report that really intrigued me, it tells the story of how he became the player and person he is today. It talk's about how he was raised by his father growing up, after losing his mother at the age of four. It also mentions how basketball was just something he was meant for, and a fun fact, not only is he a basketball star, apparently he can sing as well (sounds like the Troy Bolton of our generation if you ask me). If you're a Kyrie fan like myself, I highly recommend this article for another great read on him (posted below).
In closing, I will always continue to support and appreciate Kyrie as a person and as a player. He is for sure deserving of everything he has earned and accomplished. I am excited to see what the future holds for him (hopefully another NBA championship title or two). Shout out to Kyrie for being one of the coolest out there, I'm sure his mother would be so proud of him.
Click the button below to view the Bleach Report article on Kyrie!!