Duren taking his talents to Memphis

Nick HallidayHeadlines, Sports

Jalen Duren committing to Memphis University to play basketball


Jalen Duren officially picked Memphis University as the college where he will play his college basketball. In front of the media, fans, friends and family at the Grail Sports Complex Duren made the announcement then removed his jacket to reveal the Memphis shirt he was wearing to make his pick official. 


Duren said he knew right after his visit to Memphis that it was at the top of his list of places he wanted to play. Jalen had his list down to 3 colleges: Kentucky, Miami, and of course his choice Memphis plus two professional options of the NBL and the NBA G league.


What really helped him pick Memphis was quote “the atmosphere; it was a welcoming place. He said his decision was made “Mainly on my development, and comfortability. I wanted to be comfortable in my atmosphere, and have the people around me to be comfortable and like I said got the vibe from them. The team I got a lot of love from them and the coaches it was just a very welcoming atmosphere”


Jalen Duren dunking (photo from sports illustrated)

Jalen said he also had “an instant connection with the coaching staff. Coach Penny and Coach Larry had the same vision of my basketball game that I had. He is talking about Coach Penny Hardaway and Coach Larry Brown. If you’re not familiar with those names you are not a basketball fan or too young to know them. 


Penny Hardaway was a #3 overall pick & had a great professional career with the Orlando Magic playing beside Shaquille O’Neal for a few years. Larry Brown is probably most recognizable in our area because of his time coaching with the 76ers where he led them to the conference finals behind the leadership of Allen Iverson. Larry has spent time in the NBA and the NCAA and is the only coach to ever win a championship in both. 


Jalen is the consensus #1 high school player in the country for 2022. However, making his decision to reclassify he will be enrolling at Memphis early which will make him eligible to play for Memphis this season. Duren was asked about the reclassification and he said” I feel like where I am at with my game I need more. I needed to be challenged a lot more. It’s time for me to move up to the next level.”


 Originally from Sharon Hill PA, Duren currently resides in Delaware and has for the last few years. He attended Gunning Bedford for middle school, but ended up playing his high school ball in Philadelphia at Roman Catholic. He earned first team all league and second team all state in his freshman season helping lead his team to a Philadelphia Catholic League championship. In his sophomore season he again earned first team all league , but earned first team all state in his second season. 


In his junior year Jalen transferred to national powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida to play on a national level. Montverede was ranked #1 in the country and won  the national championship with Duren being a big part in that. He was named MaxPreps Florida High School Basketball Player of the Year averaging 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in NIBC conference play, leading the Eagles to a 12–1 league record (20–1 overall)

Jalen Duren winning national championship with Montverde Academy (Photo Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News/USA TODAY – FLORIDA NETWORK

After the high school national championship Duren would cap off his championship run as he helped lead his AAU team Team Final win a Peach jam  national championship in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).  Jalen led Team Final with a double double in the championship collecting 17 points and 10 rebounds . He was quoted to have told Team Final director Rob Brown while they were driving home after losing the 15U Peach jam “Rob, I guarantee you are winning one before I’m done.’

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