Jahlil Okafor arrived at Duke University with several goals in mind. Even though just about everyone assumed that he would be a one and done player at the college level, he wanted to win not only individual accolades, but team awards as well. Everything came together for him in his one season in Durham, as he was able to help Duke win their fifth national championship. Now that he is heading to the NBA, people are trying to decide where he stands compared to other greats at the University.
For the longest time, Duke was one of the few teams not really hurt too much by early departures to the NBA. The arrival of guys such as Corey Maggette and Elton Brand started to change that culture, but they did not become a school with one and done players until then. Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers and Jabari Parker were all outstanding in college and are now making their mark in the pros, but Okafor is the 1st true inside player to spend just one season with Duke.
When mentioning the greats, more often than not, people are going to side with players who spent at least a few years at Duke. That is why no one is going to put Okafor up there with Christian Laettner, Grant Hill or Shane Battier, but as far as dominance is concerned, he might just be the best true center to ever suit up for the team. He was a consensus first-team All-American, ACC player of the year and Pete Newell Big Man Award winner as a freshman. Mike Gminski is the only other true center from Duke to win receive similar accolades, but he never won a title during his college career.
In the NBA, Okafor is going to be looked at by a lot of people in daily fantasy basketball. He is an imposing big man, and truth be told, he is probably more designed for the professional game. Once it is all said and done, we could very well be talking about Okafor as one of the best to ever suit up for Duke. His time at the University was short, but he was able to do things very few others have been able to accomplish in 4 years.