Former Duke basketball players plead for NBA chance


A couple of Duke basketball products keep NBA hopes alive in Canada.

Duke basketball fans have seen many Blue Devils bring their talents to the NBA and build long-term careers within the federation. Of course, that cannot be said of all former players in the program, as some will have to go a longer path to reach the climax of their dreams.

Andre Dawkins and DeMarcus Nelson are two from years ago that come to mind. They played key roles in Durham, but weren’t exactly the most sought-after professionals at the time.

Now former Duke basketball teammates Trevon Duval and Javin DeLaurier are following similar routes as they excel in Canada’s Elite Basketball League north of the border.

Both Blue Devils began their professional careers in an NBA environment: Duval at the Milwaukee Bucks and Delaurier at the Sacramento Kings. However, due to issues that were not in her favor, her initial tenure in the NBA didn’t last as long as she’d hoped.

However, that does not mean that the window of opportunity has closed for both of them.

The success of Cameron Payne, who resurrected his career with the Phoenix Suns – after playing overseas and deemed unsuitable as a player for the NBA – should be enough fuel for any aspiring player. It’s an act that Duval should definitely have noticed as a Guardian.

Assessment of the former Duke basketball player Trevon Duval

As a former five-star recruit, Trevon Duval had a somewhat shaky career with the Blue Devils, averaging 10.9 points, 5.6 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 2.8 turnovers per game in his only college season. But he’s worked on his game and he’s making an impact in his new home in Canada.

Duval is a member of the Hamilton Honey Badgers, who are currently in second place in the CEBL with a 6-1 record. The former Duke Point Guard has averaged 14.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27.0 minutes per game this season.

Efficiency was a huge concern for Duval after college, as he only shot 42.8 percent out of the field, 29.0 percent out of three, and 59.6 percent out of the foul line. Now he has convincingly increased every single one of these statistics, shooting 47.8 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from downtown and 85.7 percent from the charity strip.

Obviously, Duval is not facing NBA competition. Nonetheless, his stats refer to professionals, many of whom have played in various other leagues such as the EuroLeague.

It’s great to see Duval make this progress. And while his tenure at Duke didn’t go quite the way fans would have liked, he can take them to the next level of pride by overcoming the odds and possibly returning to the NBA with a Payne comeback.

Judging Duke basketball alum Javin DeLaurier

Javin DeLaurier has also taken a path that isn’t the prettiest when it comes to fulfilling NBA dreams.

From the G League to the CEBL, however, he’s now had an impressive season in Canada. The former Duke basketball captain is arguably the best Big Man in the CEBL with an average of 13.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for the Niagara River Lions (3-3). DeLaurier ranks 2nd in the league for both rebounds and blocks per game.

He expanded on everything he brought to the Blue Devils. Overall, DeLaurier is becoming a more complete player, ready to make an impact no matter what team he’s on.

Duval and DeLaurier faced each other on Sunday; However, Duval did not play. Despite the missed opportunity of two former Blue Devils facing each other, DeLaurier had a game and finished it with 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

These two members of The Brotherhood may not have NBA success right now, but with their dominance in the CEBL, a main stage chance might be on the horizon.

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