college basketball

‘The Honor of a Lifetime': Scheyer Reacts to Being Named Next Duke Head Coach

The Northbrook-native talked to NBC 5 about what it means to have the opportunity to take over for Mike Krzyzewski

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As a teenager, Jon Scheyer was an All-American and state champion at Glenbrook North High School. A few years later, he was an All-American and national champion at Duke.

Not surprisingly, when Scheyer envisioned his early 30's, he envisioned them taking place between the lines.

"I felt like at 33, I’d be playing for the Chicago Bulls winning NBA Championships right now," Scheyer told NBC 5. "God had other plans for me, which I’m incredibly thankful with what has happened."

Early last week, the Northbrook-native got life-changing news: he'd been chosen to succeed the legendary Mike Krzyzewski as the next Duke Men's Basketball head coach. He'll step into the role as Blue Devils head coach next April.

"I get emotional thinking about it, to be honest with you," Scheyer said. "It's been a week now, and I don't think, still, its sunk in fully."

The 33 year-old has had a lot of people reach out to him since he landed the job, including plenty of big names in the world of basketball, but the calls and texts that mean the most have come from the people he's known the longest.

"There’s a lot of people that have meant so much to me along the way. And when you get messages from your coaches you grew up playing for ... those texts are really meaningful," said Scheyer. "I have a close group of friends still from Northbrook to this day. I got a bunch of texts from them. They had to put up with me during all my stuff through the years, so the fact they’re with me to this day, I’m incredibly grateful for.

"I can’t tell you I got a text from President Obama. I’m not that cool, but the friends and family back home is what makes it special," he added.

For the last eight seasons, the 33 year-old has served under Krzyzewski as both an assistant and associate head coach. But Scheyer has never been a head coach. He knows being a first-time head coach at one of college basketball's biggest powers won't be easy, and replacing the winningest coach in men's college basketball history will make it even more challenging.

"I understand the circumstances," Scheyer said. "I understand better than anyone what an amazing impact Coach has had on this university, on college basketball. But the way we’ve done this transition, I feel it’s set-up for success. I believe in myself, I believe in the people around me, I believe in Coach and how we’re going to do this thing together, so call me crazy, wouldn’t be the first time, but I do believe in this opportunity," he added.

Scheyer says he'll spend the next ten months strengthening his relationships with Duke's players and doing everything in his ability to help 'Coach K' win a sixth national championship. After that, Duke basketball is in his hands.

"Incredibly grateful, it’s the honor of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to continue to move this legacy forward in the right way."

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