Brooklyn Nets newcomer and Providence’s own, David Duke, has earned himself a comfortable role in the league thus far. Duke was initially inserted into the rotation when the Nets were crushed with health issues while star players came in and out of protocols. While the team was struggling with availability, Duke stepped up. Since then, the rookie has fit in very nicely with the prolific Nets roster.
After a successful high school career, Duke was ranked among the top 50 high school prospects in the 2018 recruiting class. He turned away offers from Villanova, Virginia, Kansas, and Syracuse and chose to commit to his hometown Providence Friars. Duke started every one of his 91 game appearances in college. During his junior year at Providence, he earned All-Big East second-team honors and his crafty scoring ability carried him to an average of 16.8 points a game, including seven 20+ point performances. He also reached the 1,000-point mark for his career. Duke’s defensive effort should also be recognized as he ripped down 6.3 boards, and pickpocketed about a steal a game.
The former Providence guard went undrafted in the 2021 draft and was originally assigned to the Nets’ G-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. Duke made his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets and checked in 22 minutes off the bench. Although the team fell short, Duke scored nine points and was successful on four-of-nine shots from the field including one from behind the arc. In December, the Providence native was able to dial in two double-double performances against the Raptors and the Magic respectively, something he never did in college. Duke has provided a fresh spark in the Brooklyn Nets’ rotation alongside fellow rookie Cameron Thomas and even after Joe Harris’s return, expect Duke to continue to punch in some solid minutes off the bench.
David Duke’s newfound role on the Nets is exciting for Big East fans all over the country, as we watch him find his way on a championship-caliber roster. He is expected to make another appearance in the starting lineup on Monday night as the Nets travel to Portland.