NSU University School basketball star Vernon Carey Jr. commits to Duke

No. 1 recruit in country is son of former Hurricanes, Dolphins offensive lineman

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

DAVIE, Fla. - South Florida high school basketball star Vernon Carey Jr. will play for Duke next season.

The son of former Miami Hurricanes and Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Vernon Carey chose Duke over fellow national powers North Carolina and Michigan State during a news conference Thursday afternoon at the NSU University School gymnasium.

Carey Jr. is ranked the No. 1 overall college recruit in the nation by Rivals.com and the third overall by ESPN.

When asked about his choice, Carey Jr. said it was one of the toughest decisions of his life, but it ultimately came down to playing for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"I feel like he's the best coach in college basketball," Carey Jr. said.

Carey said he didn't stand in the way of his son's decision.

"It was the first time in his life that he had to make a decision for himself, so I wanted him to take that first step into manhood," a tearful Carey told reporters. "I'm very proud of him. He matured through the whole process, and he's just becoming a young man."

The 6-foot-10, 275-pound center led NSU University School to a 36-2 record and a Class 5A state championship as a junior last season. The Sharks are expected to contend for another state title this year.

Carey Jr. was named Florida's Mr. Basketball in March.

His father was a four-year letterman for the Hurricanes and became a first-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2004. He retired from the NFL after the 2011 season.

"It was the first time in his life that he had to make a decision for himself, a tearful Carey said.

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