Emmitt Williams, a high-flying, five-star forward from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, received a phone call from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski about a month ago.
“Getting a phone call from him, it was like talking to God,” the 6-7, 210-pound Williams said here at the Nike Peach Jam where he’s playing with Each 1 Teach 1. “I never thought I would be talking to the best coach in the world from his cell phone so getting a call from him is a blessing.”
Williams, a former football player who looks like a middle linebacker, only started playing organized basketball in middle school and said he “didn’t start to get serious until two years ago.” So he’s still amazed that someone of Krzyzewski’s stature would call to offer him.
The Duke staff has watched him twice at the Peach Jam, including on Wednesday night when his team beat the Nike Phamily in a game in which Williams twice dunked on 6-11 Duke target Marvin Bagley III, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“It doesn’t stand out,” he said. “I just dunked on him because he was in front of me. He’s just a regular high school person. I don’t see him as Kevin Durant or nothing. He’s just another high school player.”
As for Duke, Williams is familiar with the Blue Devils because he played with incoming Duke point guard Trevon Duval last season at IMG. He has also visited Duke.
“I love everything about Duke,” he said. “The players that are there, the coaches, the facilities, so it’s like basketball heaven.”
Williams said whenever he has a question about college, he texts Duval to get the answer.
Duke isn’t the only blue blood pursuing Williams. He said a Kentucky assistant recently texted him, and the Wildcats have also watched him here.
“I really haven’t been paying a lot of attention to it (recruiting) because right now I’m just focused on high school,” he said.
Wherever he goes, “I wanna be that kid that brings that motor to the team, gets everybody on their feet and makes sure everybody is ready to play. I wanna be that guy with the motor on the court.
“I wanna guard every position on the court, from one through the five. The more people I can guard, the better player I am.”