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Corey Maggette Looks Forward to DJ Steward Continuing the Chicago-Duke pipeline

Despite Corey Maggette only spending one year at Duke University before the 1999 draft, he set a lot a future trends that continue to this day in Durham. Now more than 20 years after he was on campus, Maggette's name once again comes up as the new season gets ready to start.

Why is Maggette's name in the news? There is another talented freshman on campus from the Chicago area this year, and even though they do not have too many similarities in playing style, it shows off the pipeline of players from the Windy City. Maggette started the trend, as he was the first to show that going from the Midwest to North Carolina was a smart move.

Maggette to Steward: 20 years of success with Chicago kids

Since the 1980s, Mike Krzyzewski has shown that he is not afraid to recruit nationally with his basketball team. It was fully on display in the 1986 season, as the starting lineup came from areas like California, Arizona, Washington DC, and more.

Despite landing players from all over, Krzyzewski never found a strong footing in the Windy City when pursuing top talent. Maggette changed all that when picking Duke over nearly every single blue blood program in the country. Considered by some to be the best overall prospect in his class, it was a huge surprise that Krzyzewski was able to lure him away from all the competition.

Chicago has always had a reputation as being one of the hotbeds for basketball in the country. As a native of the city himself, Krzyzewski always knew that he wanted to land as many top prospects from some of the big schools in the Chicago area to start building great relationships. That all started with Maggette, and it indirectly led to several other players.

After Maggette, players such as John Scheyer, Jalil Okafor, Jabari Parker, and more took the chance and moved to Durham. Some of the most successful teams in the last 20 years have had Chicago players as a prominent part of the team. Is DJ Steward the next in line?

Healing from Whitney Young High School, which is the same school as Okafor, Steward comes in with high expectations. It just so happens that he transferred to Whitney Young high school after first going to Fenwick High School, which is the alma mater of Maggette. Having players to look up to locally certainly played a role in helping him decide on Duke, but he also focused on making the right decision for himself.

The shooting guard is considered a fringe one and done type of player at this point, but a lot will depend on how he plays during the season. NBA scouts believe that he will have the chance to contribute at a high-level at some point in the NBA, but it remains to be seen if he stays more than one year.

Maggette to Durham, but not for long

A lot of the players from Chicago in recent years have moved to Durham, but only for a short amount of time. When it comes to landing top prospects, they tend only to last one year on campus before the NBA calls. Well before the one and done rule actually became a thing, Maggette was ahead of the curve and shocked a lot of people when he declared for the draft after one year.

Everyone from the fans to Mike Krzyzewski himself were not exactly happy with Maggette's original decision, but it has turned into the norm in a lot of ways. The coaching staff has embraced it, the casual basketball fan has embraced it, and just about everyone knows that if a player is very successful at the college level, they will probably leave after that year. read more

Is Steward planning on just one season in Durham before jumping to the next level? At this point, people are not sure how many years he will hang around. He has the skill level and the body to play in the NBA at some point, but it depends on how much he puts it together.

Recent players from Chicago who have only spent one year in Durham were marked as one and done players before even arriving on campus. There was very little they could do to mess up the buzz around them, and they ended up having great seasons for Duke as well. Steward figures to be more of a role player instead of a dominant force, but Maggette knew he would have his opportunity to shine with the ball in his hands so often.

Continuing a tradition

Former players like Maggette take a lot of pride in seeing younger talent from Chicago pick Duke. With so many programs in the Midwest lacking the same level of consistency, Chicago area players are opening up their recruitment nationally. It always helps a little bit when southern schools offer kids growing up in colder weather, as warmer climates always seem a bit more comfortable during basketball season.

Stewart is hoping that he can have a great career with Duke. One can imagine that former Duke players like Maggette will definitely have their eye out on the current representative from the Windy City. Krzyzewski will continue to search for the best players in the United States, but there is always something a little cooler for him when he brings in players from his home city.