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, decided to open things up and let Duke recruit him as well.
The younger son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers and younger brother of Indiana Hoosiers 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 from his new entry:
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… I’ve got to say that this has been a tough time for me. Just this week one of my trainers and one of my best friend’s father passed away and it’s been pretty rough. I’ve basically just been with my family and playing basketball as much as I can to get my mind off things. Just trying to enjoy life.
I am definitely ready for the big game this week (Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2) against my boy Brandon Knight. I’ve been getting up some extra shots and staying in the gym a little longer than usual. I’ve had to, because I’m coming back from my ankle injury, which was crazy:
I was playing against Gonzaga High School, and I really thought I was about to go off. I had hit three threes in a row, and I was feeling it! Then I was on a fast break and I came down really awkward. It was real bad. I thought I heard something pop, so I just screamed because it hurt so bad and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up finding out that I sprained the inside of my foot, too. It was a weird type of sprain.
But I’m back now. I’ve played two games since the injury. The first game I only had four points in 12 minutes. The second game was last Saturday, and I played the whole game and had 29 points. I feel like I’m back now. …
… This year I’m getting my teammates involved first because I know I can get going pretty much whenever I want to. I watch players like Kobe and D-Wade and how they set up their teammates first. I’ve kind of patterned myself after them in that regard, just setting up my teammates and then coming on stronger and stronger as the game progresses.
Outside of basketball, a lot of people ask me what it’s like to have an NBA coach for a dad, and it’s pretty cool. It has its advantages and disadvantages, like with most things. But it’s cool because you get to meet people and you get to see the life that my friends and I are working hard to try and get to. It’s cool to see Rajon Rondo pull up in a nice car and to see how Paul Pierce prepares … Just seeing how the NBA life really is … It’s fun! But then you’ve got to hear people make comments like “It’s only because of his dad,” so it has another side, but I would definitely say that the good outweighs the bad. I love it.
You can read the rest of Austin’s diary at HighSchoolHoop.com, where he talks about the big national TV game and conversations with Coach K and Billy Donovan.