Winter Park (Fla.) High School point guard Austin Rivers is one of the best prep players, pound-for-pound, in the country. HighSchoolHoop.com ranks the 6-4 junior fifth overall in its national Top 50. Rivers has been verbally committed to Florida for over a year, but this fall, he decided to open things up and let Duke recruit him as well, making his one of the most captivating recruiting stories in the country.
The younger son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and younger brother of Indiana University PG Jeremiah Rivers, Austin has agreed to give HSH and Dime exclusive access by chronicling his thoughts in a regular diary where he’ll update readers on everything from his personal life to his high school season to his thoughts on Duke and Florida. Here are some excerpts:
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Most of you guys saw what happened at the City of Palms tournament because it was on TV. I kind of got in the zone and really I haven’t looked back since then. I had 45 points in one game at the City of Palms, and the best way to describe that was that it was a feeling of alternate energy. It’s like everyone’s just a step slower than you and you can’t see anybody. I didn’t care who was guarding me, my mindset was “I can’t see you!” The shots were falling, the basket was bigger and my eyes were getting wider. That’s pretty much what happened there.
I ended up winning the MVP award, and that was cool because I think I’m the first player to win that back-to-back. So now my goal is to win it for a third time when I play in it next year. That and to step up and win a championship. We won third-place the first year, second this year, and hopefully next year we can win it all.
Other than that, we’ve got some big games coming up this year. One game that everyone is talking about is our game against Brandon Knight (Pine Crest, Fla.). My Facebook has been blowing up with people asking me about this game because ESPN is showing it (Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. on ESPN 2) and everything like that. Basically, people want to see us go at it. We were teammates this summer and now people want to see us play against each other. I don’t look at it like this, but I know that people think this game will show who the best guard is in Florida. …
… Just to touch on the recruiting part, because I know you guys want to hear about that, most know that I committed to Florida early. I just felt like that was the best place for me, then I went to visit Duke and I really got interested in them. It really opened my eyes to see that there are other things out there.
So basically right now I’m still committed to Florida, but I’m letting Duke recruit me because I like them a lot. It’s just those two schools. I’ve kind of put the recruiting stuff on the back burner for now with my season going on and all. I’m just playing basketball and not worrying about anything. I’ll pick it up more heavy when I start AAU, when things start to get crazy again.
I do keep in touch with the coaches. I just talk to them when I feel like I need a coach to talk to. I talked to Coach (Billy) Donovan when Chandler Parsons hit that full-court shot on N.C. State. Man, that shot was just ridiculous! I called Chandler and congratulated him after that. Then I talked to Coach K after their big win over Connecticut. So ya know, I just call them when I need to and they keep in touch with me as much as they can within the rules. I’ve gotta admit, it’s pretty cool to have both of those guys available to talk. I mean you’ve got Coach K obviously, then Coach Donovan…. They’re two of the greatest college coaches ever! It’s a real honor to have such great relationships with both of them.
You can read the rest of Austin’s diary at HighSchoolHoop.com, where he talks about Winter Park’s chances at a Florida state title, his in-season travel plans regarding the Gators, Blue Devils, Hoosiers and Celtics, and more.