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Miami enters final race for No. 1 high school prospect Jalen Duren

Five-star center Jalen Duren has kept Miami in his five remaining options.

Syndication: Naples Daily News
Jalen Duren, a five-star center and potential No. 1 selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, will either play professionally or choose from three universities in Miami, Memphis, or Kentucky.
Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News/USA TODAY - FLORIDA NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team remains in contention for five-star center Jalen Duren of Montverde Academy of Lake County, Florida.

Duren, the nation’s highest-ranked basketball recruit, narrowed his commitment decision down to five in a social media announcement on Friday at 6 p.m. The 6-foot-10, 230-pound Philadelphia native tabbed Miami as one of his ultimate collegiate destinations alongside Kentucky and Memphis.

Competing professionally and earning approximately $1 million in the National Basketball Association’s G-League or the National Basketball League of Australia has also remained of consideration. The recent greenlighting of NCAA athletes’ ability to profit from name, image and likeness endorsement deals would also grant Duren financial benefit.

Having completed an official visit to Miami on June 11, Duren was welcomed by a familiar face from the sidelines. Hurricanes assistant coach DJ Irving — Duren’s high school coach at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia — joined Miami’s coaching staff as of April.

Miami coach Jim Larrañaga credited Irving for his unique recruiting perspective upon the hire, expressing his confidence that UM players will “enjoy the energy DJ brings to the court and the close personal relationship he’ll develop with them off the court.”

With projections favoring Duren as a top selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, expectations have risen for the GEICO Nationals high school national champion to reclassify into the 2021 class. The possibility would lead Duren to settle on a college campus or the professional hardwood sooner than expected.

Prior to declaring his condensed options, Duren also expressed interest from numerous other schools including Michigan, Maryland, Auburn, and Georgetown.

Having received commitments from a trio of four-star guards in Jakai Robinson, Nisine Poplar, and Bensley Joseph, the Hurricanes look toward potentially signing their highest-ranked recruit in program history. Upon signing DePaul transfer guard Charlie Moore in late April, UM ranks 24th nationally and fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in its 2021 recruiting class.