Boys Basketball

Graham picks Kansas over NC State

Posted May 2, 2014

Devonte Graham (4) with the inside move. Wakefield hosts Broughton Friday night January 18, 2013. Broughton wins game 53 to 41. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

Broughton High School Class of 2013 graduate Devonte Graham has committed to play college basketball at Kansas.

Graham chose the Jayhawks over NC State after narrowing his list to those two schools earlier this week.

"I just felt like Kansas was a better fit for me. It was a gut feeling after going on my visits, and I just felt like it was better for me," Graham said Friday.

Graham also said the tradition at Kansas played a role in his decision.

"Their tradition of winning is huge," he said. "That's big because I love to win. Who wouldn't want to be at a top five program and have a chance to start as a freshman and win?"

Kansas has had some recent roster changes, including the transfer of starting point guard Naadir Tharpe.

"He's a Brewster alum, and he was really cool on my visit," Graham said of Tharpe. "But Naadir leaving was a big deal because he played 30 minutes a game and he was a starter, so the opportunity is there for me to play right away."

Graham thinks he can contribute right away too.

"I think I fit in really well because the system we ran here at Brewster is kind of similar to the system at Kansas, and they're in need of a point guard," he said. "They have Frank (Mason) and Conner (Frankamp), but I feel like I could go in and produce right away. I can get people the ball and help them win."

While in high school in Raleigh, Graham signed with Appalachian State, but after leading his team to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A state championship game, Graham wanted to open up his recruitment to see what other programs might be interested.

Appalachian State declined Graham's request for a release from his letter of intent though, and Graham enrolled at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Graham said not knowing whether or not he would be released was difficult, but he is thankful for his time at Brewster.

"Coming here might have been the best move for me because coming here with all the players that I played against and with, the competition is stronger, I got quicker, and I became a better defender," he said. "Everything about it just made me better as a person and as a player."

There were questions about whether or not Appalachian State would ever release Graham. He said he had his doubts too.

"There were plenty of times where I thought I wouldn't get released and I would be forced to go (to Appalachian State). I thought I may have to go to a JUCO. I thought about different scenarios, and I thought about them every day," Graham said.

But when Appalachian State fired basketball coach Jason Capel last month though, Graham was released from his commitment to the Mountaineers.

"It's a big relief knowing where I've been and what I had to go through to get here, but I think it worked out in the end," said Graham.

There has been much speculation over Graham's recruitment, but he said he didn't decide where he was going until this week.

"I probably decided about two days ago," said Graham. "I had a big discussion with my mom and we talked about everything, we talked about each visit. I ruled out a couple of school, and I felt in my hear that (Kansas) was where I wanted to be."

Graham is a 6-foot-1 point guard. He helped lead Brewster to a 33-2 season this past year. He will have all four years of his college eligibility, starting at Kansas as a freshman this fall.

During his senior year at Broughton, Graham earned all-district and all-state honors. He was the Cap 8 4-A Conference Player of the Year, and was also selected to the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game.

Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT


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  • JPack May 3, 2014

    These are my two favorite programs. Good for this kid to keep pushing forward to achieve his dreams.
    Cmonletsgoheels - the reason he didn't want to do that is twofold. One, apps BB program is not exactly historic and may reduce his chances of being accepted in a larger program, and two, if he transfers, he has to sit out for a year before he can play for the new school.

  • pgpalmer May 3, 2014

    My grandson played with Devonte since middle school including the state championship game their senior year. When I first saw Devonte play at Daniels Middle School, I asked" Who is that kid?" I have followed him through high school, and I think he has made the very best choice. I would like to have been able to see him play which would have been possible if he had chosen State, but now I will watch every Kansas game that is televised. He's a fine young man, and I wish him the very best. Go Devonte. Love you. Zach's Grandpat

  • alx May 2, 2014

    state has a much better program.. who would have thunk

  • CmonLetsGoHeels May 2, 2014

    What was so bad about App St that he could not play there for at least a year, he could always transfer after his first year.