Two of the best high school basketball players at Montverde Academy play right here in Central Florida and got invited to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Dariq Whitehead is a silky-smooth forward committed to Duke University. Dillon Mitchell is an explosive forward headed to the University of Texas. The teammates described each other’s games.
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“Dillon is one-of-a-kind,” Whitehead said. “You don’t find people like Dillon much. Someone who’s going to have energy every day and come in and give it his all. He’s going to guard and block shots. He just plays at a high level, and that’s rare.”
“Dariq is just an all-around player,” Mitchell said. “He definitely, to me, is the best player in the class other than me. He goes out there and does whatever he has to do for the team.”
Not only do Whitehead and Mitchell have the McDonald’s All-American Game ahead of them, but they’ll also compete at the Jordan Brand Classic and lead Montverde Academy into the national tournament. They didn’t get this far without years of hard work and sacrifice.
“I knew if I worked hard, it can happen,” Mitchell said. “And that goes for anybody out there. If you’ve got a dream, you go work hard and go get it. That’s just what I did. I put my head down, listened to all the people that I trust and just continue to work and go get what I dreamed of.”
“Being here since the 8th grade, it’s just crazy,” Whitehead said. “I’ve been taught a lot of lessons off the court and on the court. Coach [Kevin] Boyle has helped me grow and mature as a person as well as Coach Rae [Miller]. And just the faculty and staff on campus at Montverde has taught me things that I’ll forever be grateful for and be able to take with me to, God-willing, the next level.”
Both players have dreams to play in the NBA. But for now, their main goal is just to get better.