Interview with Duke Blue Devils National Champion Jon Scheyer

TheRookieWall.comCorrespondent IJune 9, 2010

WASHINGTON - MAY 27:  U.S. President Barack Obama (R) receives a jersey from players Brian Zoubek (L) and Jon Scheyer (2nd L) of the Duke Blue Devils during a Rose Garden event May 27, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama hosted the NCAA men basketball champions to honor their 2009-2010 season.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Winning, winning, and more winning.

Jon Scheyer has won 225 basketball games in his high school and college career.  Not only did Scheyer help his Glenbrook North High basketball team to a Class AA state basketball championship his junior year in Illinois, but he was a senior leader on the Duke team that cut down the nets after the 2010 NCAA National Championship.

Winning is what drives Scheyer to succeed, he told us in a recent interview with The Rookie Wall.

“The reason I’ve played my whole career is to win, so to win at your high school level is great, and to win in the college level is a really big accomplishment and is something I’m really excited about,” said Scheyer of his two championships.

Despite having a ton of high school success, many questioned Scheyer’s strength and ability at the next level because he was a tall but scrawny kid.  Coach Krzyzewski, the legendary coach at Duke, was the one person that saw through his slight frame and saw the leadership and intangibles Scheyer possessed.

Coach K found the perfect ringleader for his Duke team in Scheyer.  He taught Scheyer all the things required to be successful on the court, and those lessons certainly led to Duke’s success the past four years with Scheyer at guard.

“[M]y basketball knowledge has gone up tremendously since [playing] for [Coach K]," said Scheyer of what he’s learned through the years under Coach K.  “Just about being a great teammate, and just being accountable.”

With all of that winning, Scheyer had an impressive college career for the Dukies; but we all know you need a National Title to really leave your mark at Cameron Indoor.  In addition to cementing a legacy at Duke, winning the National Championship this year would lead to a truly special moment. When the Duke Men’s Basketball team went to the White House to honor their NCAA National Championship, President Obama shocked Scheyer, and his teammates, when he called Scheyer his “homeboy,” since the President had been following him since his high school days in Chicago.

“[T]hat was probably the coolest moment of my life,” said Scheyer of President Obama referring to him as his homeboy.

Currently working out in Chicago with Josh Oppenheimer to improve his game, specifically his ball handling, Scheyer is ready for the road ahead.  He knows he’ll have to face the stigma attached to Duke players (which he addresses in the interview), but with his former teammates and friends J.J. Redick and Gerald Henderson to call on for advice, Scheyer has the support to leave his mark on this draft class, just like he did with the Blue Devils.


Below is a portion of the interview The Rookie Wall had with Jon Scheyer, to see the entire transcript visit :


The Rookie Wall: How does it feel to be one of only a handful of players to lead their high school and college team to championship wins?

Jon Scheyer: It feels great you know. The reason I’ve played my whole career is to win and so to win at your high school level is great and to win in the college level is a really big accomplishment and is something I’m really excited about.


TRW: Which championship are you more proud of?

JS: I’m proud of both. I think both teams, I don’t know if many people picked us to win at either level which makes it a little bit sweeter. But just because it’s on a bigger level, more players, and tougher to do, you know to be frank, the National Championship I am very proud of.


TRW: What was it like going to the White House to honor your National Championship?

JS: It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Being able to meet President Obama and to shake his hand and get to meet him and just to see the White House and seeing Washington. It was a really cool experience that I will never forget.


TRW: How did it feel when President Obama called you his “homeboy” since you’re both from Chicago?

JS: [Laughter] Well that was probably the coolest moment of my life. [President Obama] caught me off guard when he said 'my homeboy.' First he said it when he introduced himself to all of us; he said, 'you know my homeboy I’ve been following him since high school days.' That’s a pretty cool thing, and definitely I think my teammates were joked by that one. [Laughter]


TRW: What made you select Duke over other schools?

JS: For me, I had a better idea of the guys I’d be playing with at Duke, and Coach K and Cameron Indoor Stadium, that speaks for itself. But I knew the players that I was going to be there with, and I thought they were great people and great players so that played a big part in my decision to go there.