Why JJ Redick almost quit basketball during his sophomore year at Duke


JJ Redick has put together a lengthy and impressive NBA career. But it wasn’t easy. The Pelicans star revealed recently that he almost made a decision at Duke that would have resulted in him never playing in the league. During an interview on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, Redick said he seriously contemplated quitting basketball during his sophomore season at Duke.

“December of that year, I had my sisters meet me on campus, and they came over for dinner, and I was like ‘I don’t want to play anymore, this is not for me, it’s not fun.’ I really struggled those first two years — it was really hard for me,” he said.

During his college days, Redick was among the most hated players in college basketball. Of course, it’s doesn’t help that he played on Duke. It’s been well-established over the years that the Blue Devils are one of those programs that opposing fans love to rag on.

However, being treated in that manner took a mental toll on Redick as he attempted to elevate his basketball career.

“It f—ed me up,” Redick said. “It forced me to take on a persona that was not me. There are not too many 18-year-old, 19-year-old kids who are really comfortable with who they are. You’re still at the point in your life where you are trying to figure things out. Inevitably, I think every male at that age is a little bit of a d——-g, so the confluence of those things made me into this like, maniac on the court.”

After his sophomore season, Redick met with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and changed his entire game. Off the court, Redick started seeing a therapist. He ended up averaging at least 21.8 points during his junior and senior seasons at Duke. The sharpshooting guard connected on 40.6 percent of his shots from beyond the arc during his collegiate career.

Redick went on to be selected with the No. 11 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic and has gone on to have a sensational professional career. However, it’s crazy to think that there was a moment that it almost didn’t happen.





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