Nightrydas Elite (FL) will enter the 2019 EYBL with a ton of type, and junior Dudley Blackwell will play a major role within their rotation.
The 6-foot-6 combo guard will operate as one of the top athletes on the circuit. Blackwell transferred to prep powerhouse Huntington Prep (WV) in late January and made an immediate impact on a loaded Irish squad.
Blackwell, who played big minutes on the Nightrydas Peach Jam qualifying E16 team a year, is excited about this year's group. We caught up with the talented junior to ask him about the Nighrydas, his goals for the season, and what he's looking to improve.
Q: How’s the move treating you? Enjoying Huntington so far?
Dudley Blackwell: The transition has been great, I had to get used to the weather change (laughs).
Q: I bet, quite the difference from Florida. What went into the decision to transfer to Huntington Prep? What sold you?
DB: Really the visit I took to check out the school. I just felt like it was an overall better situation, and it was perfect timing for the transition to playing on this platform. National schedule and more exposure for sure.
Q: Speaking of exposure, the Nightrydas. How excited are you to run on the 17U EYBL? What are your expectations?
DB: Man I can’t wait! This is going to be a big summer for us, especially with the new guys we have coming in like Naseem (Khaalid) and Scottie (Barnes). I feel like we have a great chance of going undefeated and winning Peach Jam. I mean, why not?
Q: Do you feel like you get better playing alongside elite talent?
DB: No doubt, playing with guys like (Khaalid and Barnes) only helps It spaces the floor a lot more, and they’re both unselfish. So it’ll click naturally I’m sure.
Q: What do you do best on the court right now?
DB: I feel like I’m a really good facilitator. I like to try to get everyone involved. I try to play two steps ahead of everyone else out there.
Q: What are you looking to improve on this spring and summer?
DB: Getting stronger in all aspects, that’s my main focus.
Q: Any favorite hobbies outside of sports?
DB: (laughs) I don’t know anything else, to be honest.
Q: Who is your favorite NBA player and why?
DB: I’ll have to say Paul George, because I feel like we’re similar in playing style.