Kyrie Irving left Duke after his freshman season and could very well be the top overall pick in the NBA draft, but he still plans on getting his degree as soon as possible.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, Irving told reporters today at the NBA combine that while the plan was for him to play at Duke only for a season or two, he also promised his father, Drederick, he would get his degree within five years.
I made a pact with my father where I have to get my degree within five years. That plan to get my degree is already in play. … That's a pact I made with him during my freshman year. He told me that if I was going to leave after one year, I was going to have to get my degree.
On whether that’s a tight timetable for completing his degree …
I have to make it work. I’m really going to have to make it work. That's a pact I have to live up to. I definitely need to be at Duke in the summers. I can't forget the Duke program. I want to be around there as much as I can.
Irving, who is not working out at the combine, also spoke of how he worried about his draft stock after injuring his toe. Still, Drederick Irving told the New York Times it's not as if the one-and-done plan was in the works all along, citing the fact that education is a priority in the family.
"Everybody in my family has gotten our degrees, our master's," said the elder Irving, a Wall Street financial broker who left a job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center six months before 9/11. "We value the education aspect of it with Kyrie."
Had they not, Kyrie would have been with John Calipari at Kentucky last season, where the godfather, [Rod] Strickland, works as an assistant coach. Irving finished his spring semester at Duke and shook his father's hand on a pact to get his degree within five years.