clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

RJ Barrett decision day feature

Go behind the scenes in the life of RJ Barrett as he rises from Canadian prodigy to national superstar.


RJ Barrett is the #1 player in the 2018-2019 College Basketball recruiting class. Tonight, he’s going to tell the world where he’s chosen to play at the Collegiate level. Before I give my prediction on where RJ is going, he’s partnered with SLAM to do a special 2-part announcement prep video.

The videos goes deeper into who RJ is as the person, and not the player. He, along with his father and coach talk about everything that has led to this decision. Barrett is a very well-spoken individual that seems to understand what it takes to be successful.

There are only 3 legitimate contenders for Barrett tomorrow, and they are; Duke, Oregon, and Kentucky. If the Cats are able to somehow pull off a miracle and get him, it could be one of John Calipari’s biggest gets. With all of the talent that has flooded through UK, saying that speaks volumes as to the kind of player RJ is.

The video gave no hints as to what school he was choosing. However, we were able to learn who RJ is, and why he’s such a highly touted prospect.

“If you really believe something is going to happen, you need to act like it’s already happening, so we just tried to do that.” Rowan, RJ’s father said. Everything we’re seeing, it’s definitely happening.”

RJ’s father is the Executive VP & Asst. GM of Canada Basketball, so he knows a thing or two about the game. It’s extremely important as a parent to allow your son to have his own dreams. The support from his father encouraged RJ to believe in something, and it’s led them to the biggest moment of his life tonight as he is afforded the opportunity to choose whatever school he wants.

“I didn’t even get a shot my first practice. There were a bunch of 6’10 guys and it was really hard” Barrett said. “But as you go throughout the year and you learn more, it was really fun playing with those guys.”

RJ talked about his first practice at Montverde Academy and how hard it was starting out. Montverde is know for being one of the most prestigious basketball academies in the world, so this was to be expected. Playing with all of that talent at such a young age undoubtedly had a huge impact on the type of player RJ developed into.

“There’s no messing around here” RJ said. “If you’re failing, you’re not playing”

Multiple times throughout the video, RJ and others bring up how serious the academics were at Montverde. Being in an environment that expects success in both academics and athletics is huge for a player. Throughout his time at Montverde, Barrett was able to understand how important both are as he was rapidly becoming the best player in High School.

“He’s gonna be an incredible guy for marketing reasons for the NBA, for different companies, and brands” Coach Boyle emphasized. He’s clean cut, he’s a good looking kid, very intelligent, and well spoken. He’s gonna be a guy that becomes on of the faces of the NBA.”

Kevin Boyle is the head coach for Montverde Academy, and he sees bright things in RJ’s future. Throughout the video he talked about the young man that RJ has grown into. Throughout all of the growth, one thing has remained constant, and that’s RJ’s love for the game. Coach Boyle believes that RJ has the potential to be one of the most influential basketball players of all time.

“I’ve put a lot of thought into this decision” Barrett said. “You know, it’s a really big decision determining where you want to go to school. It could be really good or really bad, so I think I made the right choice.”

Everything RJ has worked for is coming to fruition tonight. There are so many different ways he could’ve gone, but it looks like he’s confident in the choice that he’s made. At the end of the day, that’s all you can really ask for from these guys.

Yes, there’s a slight possibility that he picks Kentucky. Do I think he will? No. I think Duke has him locked up, and I think it’s been evident for a while. However, there’s always a chance, especially when Cal is involved.

No matter what RJ decides, I hope he has a very long and successful career. He’s an extremely talented player, and a very well-rounded young man.

Here are the videos in full if you’d like to watch them. Be sure to check out his decision live on ESPN tonight at 6 PM EST.

And be sure to go 'like' our Facebook page and follow our Twitter page to get all of the latest Kentucky Wildcats news and views.