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Duke Basketball: Kyrie Irving Uses Lockout Productively

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23:  Kyrie Irving (R) from Duke greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected number one overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Ro ShiellAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2011

While most NBA players are weighing the option of earning a paycheck in a foreign league, Kyrie Irving is in college working out and studying.

"I’m going to try and stay in school as long as possible until the lockout is over," Irving said. "My dad still stresses education in my life.

The No.1 overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft left Duke after his freshman year, but is now back taking courses in psychology.

As a first-round pick, Irving has a guaranteed contract, so he need not risk injury playing abroad like ex-Duke teammate Kyle Singler. Singler, picked in the second round by the Detroit Piston,s is now in Spain playing for Lucentum Alicante.

That's why it is so vital that players enter the NBA as high draft pick. The job security is much better.

"I'm trying to be as optimistic as possible with the whole labor situation," Irving told The News-Herald. "The NBA and the players' association need to reach a deal that's fair for both sides."

His lifelong dream was to play in the NBA, and when it does happen, a labour dispute threatens to derail the entire season. Terrible luck, but at least he is staying fit and furthering his education.

The toe injury that saw Irving miss all but 11 games at Duke is not completely healed, but while he is at Duke, maybe he could give players like freshmen Quinn Cook or Austin Rivers a few pointers.

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