It was a big night across the world in the basketball community as superstar 6-foot-11 senior Marvin Bagley, the nation's #1 overall prospect, changed the basketball landscape immediately when he announced for the Duke Blue Devils on ESPN, in a special announcement on the network.
It was truly the biggest night ever for high school basketball in the world, as Bagley was the featured story of the evening on Sportscenter.
With several schools looking to land the future NBA top overall pick, Bagley decided on head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils over UCLA and USC. It was an amazing short list of schools looking to land Bagley, after the long list of schools that had recruited him throughout his high school career.
Bagley also announced that he will forgo his senior season of high school, and graduate early - becoming a member of America's 2017 class. As a result, Bagley will begin school almost immediately, and play for the Blue Devils this season.
At Duke Now, Bagley will establish the most talented Duke team ever - giving the Blue Devils a definite #1 pre-season national ranking, and also a clear favorite to win the national championship. Bagley will now join a starting five that should include Bagley and future NBA potential lottery picks Trevon Duvall, Gary Trent and Wendall Carter. Future NBA first rounder Greyson Allen will round out the five, which has the look of a modern day "Fab 5."
In his decision, Bagley proved his desire to compete for a national championship in his one season in college. Everyone in the national basketball community across the world understands that Bagley will be the top overall pick in the NBA next summer, so his decision Monday evening also impacted such NBA teams as the Boston Celtics, who could have the top overall pick in the draft next season.
Bagley also cemented his place Monday evening as the top overall prospect to ever play his high school basketball in the state of Arizona. While he eventually moved to California to finish out his high school career, he spent time at Skyline Prep in South Phoenix early on, and also led Corona Del Sol High School to a state championship in 2015, before playing a short stint with Hillcrest Prep Academy.
Bagley played last season for Sierra Canyon High School (CA), and made them one of the elite teams in America. Rather than go back to Sierra Canyon for his senior season, Bagley decided to start the process much sooner.
On Monday evening, with the excitement surrounding his decision created by ESPN, and the many scouts and media across the country, high school basketball went to another level on Monday evening. As someone that has been around the industry for more than 23 years now, I recognize and appreciate the impact of Bagley's decision, the importance it was given and the manner it was presented.
Bagley has become just as huge as I said he would back in 7th grade, while playing for Team Bibby in the Southwest Showcase in 2012. Last night was a culmination of many years for the Bagley family, who looked terrific on national television. Marvin Bagley Sr. proved his love for his son and his tremendous future, without the foolish antics of fathers like Lavar Ball. It was also nice to see Bagley's kind mother and their school's guidance counselor in attendance with large smiles on their faces.
Younger brother Marcus Bagley is also following suit of his older brother as a top-rated national prospect. Marcus will be entering his junior season at Sierra Canyon High School.
Congratulations to Marvin and his family on a night that changed high school basketball forever, and took the sport of basketball to another level.