The ACC’s best player is expected to make a huge splash at March Madness. Before Marvin Bagley III lights up the scoreboard, get to know about one of the hottest young stars on the court.
Could MB3 be the MVP of March Madness? While that’s not his official nickname, the name Marvin Bagley III, 18, will likely be on the lips of everyone watching the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. The 6’11 tall Arizona native is considered one of the top prospects of the next NBA Draft, but before he gets there, he has to try and win a national title for the Duke Blue Devils. Before Marvin and Duke finish out the AAC Tournament and head for the big dance, get all the facts about this basketball phenom.
1. He’s already a winner. Whether or not Duke takes the crown during March Madness, Marvin will end the season on a high note. The young man clinched not just the Atlantic Coast Conference’s award for Rookie of the Year, but he was also named the ACC Player Of The Year. He leads the ACC with 20.7 points per game and 11.9 rebounds, despite missing four games with a knee injury!
2. He got his first college scholarship before he was old enough to drive. It’s safe to say that the basketball world has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Marvin. When he was just 14 years old, he picked up his first basketball college scholarship, from Northern Arizona, according to USA Today. Three days after that, Arizona State offered him one. More offers followed, but he didn’t let all the attention go to his head.
“I don’t think about [the hype],” Marvin said in 2013. “Whenever I step on the court, I try to just focus on getting better. I don’t worry about all of the extra stuff. It will come with hard work.”
3. Marvin used to play football. Marvin’s father, Marvin Jr., used to play football at North Carolina A&T and in the AFL. Marvin III’s maternal grandfather was Joe Caldwell, a legend of the NBA, ABA and gold medalist at the 1964 Olympics. At first, Marvin III gave football a try, but after getting sacked from behind by an older player during a game, he had a revelation. That was the day,” he told ESPN, “that I was like, ‘Ahh, I don’t think football is for me.’ I was just going to play basketball.”
4. He keeps his family close. As someone who’s expected to be a Top 10 Draft Pick (maybe even Top 5) in 2018, it’s easy for Marvin to buy into the hype about how he’s the future of the sport. Yet, he’s known for keeping company with those who help him keep his perspective.
“He’s always hanging around his brothers, his mom and his dad,” Duke’s Grayson Allen told ESPN. “He’s always hanging around people who are going to treat him like him and not like he’s Marvin Bagley the superstar. I’m sure his little brothers are messing with him and making fun of him, too. So I think that keeps him really grounded.”
5. He has an opinion on the “one and done” rule. In 2005, the NBA created a rule that a player must be 19 years old and one year removed from high school graduation in order to be drafted. 18-year-olds can sign with the NBA’s G-League, but the max salary is 26k a season, according to the NY Daily News. It’s more sensible for a player to do one year in a top-tier school and then declare themselves eligible, ergo the “one and done” rule. With NBA commissioner Adam Silver, 55, considering getting rid of the rule, high school kids could enter the NBA draft right away, something that Marvin think might be a good thing.
“I think if you’re good at something and you’re able to take your talent to the next level, you should be able to do that,” he told CBS Sports. “I don’t know what everybody else thinks about it or what the NBA is thinking about it. But in my opinion if you’re really good at something, if you can help your family out and make a living off it, you should be able to do that just like any other sport that can do that.” Well, the world will see what Marvin can do during March Madness, and then? It’s onward to the NBA.