Not only do Dariq Whitehead and RJ Barrett boast similar frames and athletic abilities, but the present-day and former Duke basketball players also exhibit the same style of coolheaded swagger.
And like Barrett, Whitehead starred for Montverde Academy (Fla.) before arriving at Duke as a projected one-and-done top-shelf Lottery pick.
Barrett, of course, went No. 3 overall to the New York Knicks at the 2019 NBA Draft and is entering his fourth year as a pro with All-Star potential after averaging a career-high 20.0 points last season. Meanwhile, some mock drafts project Whitehead to go that high in 2023.
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Furthermore, remember that the two crossed paths at Montverde during Barrett’s senior year in 2018 when Whitehead transferred there from New Jersey as an eighth-grader.
Brotherly vibes stemming from all of the above Nuggets are evident in the following 50-second video that the program’s official account tweeted on Wednesday:
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First, note that Whitehead appears in workout gear and buoyantly shifts his weight from one leg to the other. Some might say that is another positive sign in his recovery from a foot injury and subsequent surgery back in late August.
Aside from that, it shows Whitehead interviewing Barrett, then competing for the last word, during the latter’s return to Durham over the weekend (alongside Cam Reddish and Trevor Keels, the other two NBA Blue Devils currently with the New York Knicks).
Again, their innate confidence and tight friendship are impossible to miss.
So if the 18-year-old Dariq Whitehead ever takes heat from Duke basketball fans for unsuccessful “hero ball” in the final moments of a big game or for any other reason needs to talk to someone who has, in essence, been in his shoes, it looks as though the 22-year-old RJ Barrett could be the best man for that job.
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