Saturday , Mar , 24 , 2012 Matt Formica

Austin Rivers is Going to the NBA and Will Make an Impact

Austin Rivers was born to Krista and Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers in Santa Monica in 1992.  He went to high school in Winter Park, FL, where he led Winter Park High School to the school’s first state title in 2010.  That year, in September, he committed to Duke University.

Then, in 2011, under his leadership, Winter Park High School won the state championship for the 2nd year in a row.  He later played in the McDonald’s All-American game and was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year that same year.  His favorite players are Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Deron Williams and his favorite team is the Boston Celtics.

Well, on Friday, March 23rd, 2012, it was reported by that Rivers, after playing only one season at Duke, will declare for the upcoming NBA draft.  It is a pretty bold move for most freshman, however; it’s pretty clear that Rivers doesn’t fall in the "most" category.  He’s already expected to go in the first round no problem. 

People will speculate as to whether or not Rivers will perform in the NBA.  I think he will and here are my two reasons why:

1.)  It’s in his blood.

Rivers isn’t exactly the only athletic person in his family.  His father, Doc, is currently the head coach of the Boston Celtics.  Doc Rivers played over a dozen seasons in the NBA before going on to be a head coach in the league and win a championship with the Celtics.  His older brother, Jeremiah, played basketball at Georgetown and Indiana.  His sister, Callie, played on the Florida volleyball team and is now a professional volleyball player in Puerto Rico.  There is no shortage of athleticism and talent in the Rivers family.  If the past performances of the Rivers family indicate anything, Austin Rivers will do just fine in the pros.

2.)  He’s not afraid to take the big shot.

Anyone who watches Sportscenter or follows college basketball religiously knows that I’m referring to the buzzer-beater Rivers hit to beat UNC earlier this season.  It wasn’t just that he hit a game winner that makes me think he’ll be successful in the NBA; it was everything else that factored in to how great of a shot it was.  First of all, its Duke vs. UNC, one of the greatest, most passionate rivalries in sports today and Duke was playing at North Carolina, in a rockin’ arena at Chapel Hill.  Second, Duke trailed by 10 in the last two minutes of the game.  The pressure of it all was incredible and just to even come back and get in the game was a feat for the Blue Devils.  Lastly, Rivers made a conscious decision to take the shot.  If you saw the highlight, then you know that Rivers waived off all offensive help in the final seconds of the last possession, stepped up and drilled it with no time left on the clock.  The kid is a freshman.  With confidence and drive like that, he’ll be successful.

Rivers finished his one year at Duke averaging 15.4 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game; and he’s got decent size for a guard at 6’4". 

With athleticism, a willingness to be a leader and a history of success behind him, I don’t think there’s any question Austin Rivers will succeed in the NBA.

Comments or questions?   Get at me Hoopsvibers!

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