Senior will look to add weight before heading to Duke
Duke is Matthew Hurt’s choice to play college basketball. Now the John Marshall senior has to prepare for the next step in his career.
Hurt, who turns 19 today, made his announcement at John Marshall High School on Friday in front of fans, family, friends and media.
“I thought Duke was just the best fit,” Hurt said.
While Hurt is looking forward to playing for the Blue Devils, the 6-foot-9 forward’s ultimate goal is to play in the NBA.
“I’m not really focused on that,” Hurt said. “However many years I go to college — hopefully it’s one, if it’s more than that — if I’m not ready after next year I’ll come back for sure. I think Duke is one of the best places to live and be around.”
The smooth-shooting Hurt currently weighs 215 pounds. He said his main point of emphasis this summer will be to bulk up.
“Get a stronger upper body, that’s going to be my focus this whole summer, just get my body ready,” he said. “He (Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski) said the skill is there but get my body right. From high school to college is a big jump so I’m just going to try and get ready this summer.”
While Hurt’s goal is to play one season at Duke — and win a national title — he realizes that he will have to earn his playing time.
“They’re going to have three first-round picks this year,” Hurt said. “They’re saying I can be one of those next year. I’m just going to go there Day One and try to earn my spot on the team. It all starts over right now so I just have to keep working every day and try to win games for Duke next year.”
Richard Hurt, Matthew’s father, says the family has received positive input from scouts and coaches around the country regarding Matthew’s future.
“The feedback we got is that if he gets his body right, gets stronger, that he’s a potential (NBA) lottery pick,” Richard Hurt said.
But Richard said there is not a timetable for Matthew.
“We’ve never gone into this with the idea that he is going to be a one-and-done,” Richard Hurt said. “We’ve gone into it with the idea we want him to go someplace that will prepare him for that next aspect.”
Duke annually has one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, and Hurt helps put the Blue Devils at the top of this year’s list. He will be one of four top-40 prospects in the country from Krzyzewski’s 2019 recruiting class. Hurt, who averaged 37 points a game as a senior, said he has received positive feedback on what Krzyzewski expects from him.
“I’m going to be a big piece for them (next season),” Hurt said. “He thinks I’m one of the best shooters in the class. I’ll try next year to shoot the ball and hopefully it goes in.”
Hurt is set to graduate on May 25 and he may head to North Carolina right after that to work at the K Academy fantasy camp from May 29 through June 2.
He may take a class in June as well to get ready for the fall semester. Hurt will report for the fall session around July 1, but the family hopes to take a vacation to Hawaii in August.