After years of hard work and dedication to his craft, Millennium High School 2008 graduate and Arizona State Sun Devil graduate Carrick Felix has achieved his dream of, not only playing professional basketball, but reaching the NBA. On Thursday evening, after months of speculation, Felix was drafted as the #33 overall pick (second round) by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Felix's story was an amazing one, as he earned both his master's and bachelor's degrees from Arizona State, and also becomes the third Sun Devil to be drafted in Coach Herb Sendek's tenure, joining the 2009 pair of James Harden (Houston Rockets) and Jeff Pendergraph (Indiana Pacers). Carrick graduated with his B.S. in Communications in the spring of 2012 and earned a Master's degree in Liberal Studies in May of 2013.
He was one of the most improved players in the nation in 2012-13, and finished his three-year career in convincing fashion by earning Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors as he led the Pac-12 in double-doubles with 13. He also earned a spot on the five-man Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, was the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a First-Team Pac-12 All-Academic Team honoree. He was an ironman as he averaged 37.7 minutes in the 18 Pac-12 games - second in the league. His nine double-doubles in Pac-12 games also led the league and his 13 overall double-doubles matched the second-most by a Sun Devil in the Pac-12 era (1978-79), as Ike Diogu had 15 in 2004-05 and Kurt Nimphius also had 13 in 1979-80.
After winning a state championship in 2008 with Millennium High School, Felix finished his high school career while playing with his club program, the Arizona Magic, where he teamed up with another Arizona State product and future NBA prospect, Jahii Carson.
After a spring and summer with the Arizona Magic, Felix would need to do some work in the classroom before heading to a division-I program, so he would further his college career at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), where he would spend two seasons after a freshman year red-shirt.
As a sophomore at CSI, Felix would flourish. As a red-shirt freshman starter, Felix was the team's leading scorer - averaging 16.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per/game, while leading the team in blocks and field-goal percentage (51.8%). He also ranked second on the team in minutes played, averaging 26.6 minutes per/game.
Felix's superb athleticism and versatility as a player caught the attention of many of the nation's top programs, as well as Felix's remaining three years of eligibility as a player.
Felix would receive scholarship offers from such division-I college programs as Duke, West Virginia, Marquette, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, USC, Nebraska, Utah State, Eastern Kentucky, Long Beach State, Northern Arizona, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Tulsa, Wyoming and many others before making his initial college decision to attend Duke University.
After signing with Duke and attending the school's campus for three days, Felix would change his mind and decide to re-open his college recruitment - then landing at Arizona State University. Felix had looked to make history for the Duke program, as he would have been the first ever junior college product to grace the Duke hardwood. But the ultra-talented junior college prospect had a change of heart, and decided that the PAC-12 Conference was his home.
On Thursday evening, Felix's plan worked out for him and his family, as he found a new home in the NBA.
Congratulations to Carrick on his tremendous hard work as a player and as a college student. Years ago while he was a high school senior, I can remember making phone calls to college programs for Felix, only to see college programs pass on him. Once again, a young man's hard work has proved that scouts and college coaches can be wrong in the process. Carrick Felix was never ranked among the Top 100 high school prospects, but he finished among the top 50 NBA prospects.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: As a college prospect, Felix is a very talented performer with very good length on his ultra-athletic frame. Felix has worked very hard off the court to develop his now strong, athletic build. He still has major upside and a lot of room for physical growth and maturity. Felix is at his best when slashing to the basket in the half-court set, or in the open floor where he thrives - using his athleticism to make plays and finish very strong at the basket. He is a very good mid-range player that is capable of knocking down mid-range jump shots consistently. He also possesses some range on his shot and is capable of stepping outside the three-point stripe, where he has good range on his shot. Felix has NBA athleticism, which allows him to make plays defensively that many cannot. His length allows him to reach into passing lanes and he also has good lateral quickness. He is an active rebounder that likes to compete for balls outside of his area. He also is a very good shotblocker that has good timing. His tenacious attitude on the floor also helps him to makes plays on both ends of the court. Big-time prospect that continues to improve.