CBA Star Chooses Duke

Sept. 11-17, 2003
CBA Star Chooses Duke
By Luke Eggleston/ SUN staff writer
Greg Paulus will head south in 2005

It’s hard to believe that Christian Brothers Academy will still have its sparkling all-world point guard and quarterback for two more school years. The mood in CBA’s library last week during Greg Paulus’ press conference to announce that he would attend Duke University in 2005 was one of culmination and conclusion with the high school phenom thanking all those in attendance for their contributions to his scholastic athletics career.

Unfortunately for CBA’s Onondaga League opponents, though, Paulus will be around for two more years before he puts on the blue and white basketball uniform of the legendary Blue Devils hoops program. Just last Friday night, Paulus, also a all-state quarterback, completed 24 of 35 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-32 win over Corcoran in the Brothers’ first Class AA appearance.

Paulus, who averaged 24.5 points per game and 6.5 assists for the Brothers basketball team, selected Duke over such elite programs as North Carolina, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Xavier. In just his freshman and sophomore seasons, Paulus has accomplished three times in two sports what many high school athletes hope to accomplish just once.

In 2001, during CBA’s first season in the Onondaga League Class A, Paulus guided his football team to a Section III Championship under center. Then, in 2002, the Brothers went on to claim their second sectional football championship. In the ensuing winter-sports season, Paulus went on to guide another CBA team to a sectional title, this time on the hard court. And on gym-floor surface is ultimately where he finds his heart beats best. With his impressive credentials on the football field, Paulus’ career easily could have gone a different route with Notre Dame and even Miami anxious to have the all-state quarterback on their rosters. Many consider Paulus to be the top quarterback prospect in his class.

“Basketball is my first love,” said the 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior. “My passion has been basketball ever since I was little and after I get done I want to coach. So it’s the position that I want to be in.” Paulus is a consensus top-20 recruit and attracted the attention of NCAA Division 1 level coaches at the Nike All-America Camp in Indianapolis in 2002. Nevertheless, Paulus did not close the door entirely on playing football at the collegiate level. Nor did Duke or any of the other finalist programs discourage him from continuing to play out his high school football career.

Both Paulus and basketball coach Bud Wleklinski stressed that the announcement “had nothing to do with getting it over with.” But it was just the right time to make the decision since he was comfortable with it. “It wasn’t important [for me to make this decision at this point], but I knew where I wanted to go and I didn’t want to waste any more time, especially the coaches’ time because they have other recruiting to do and if they can’t get me then [this allows them] to get someone else,” Paulus said. “It was for me and for them. But I knew where I wanted to go.”

During the recruiting process, Paulus said he dealt exclusively with coach Mike Krzyzewski. “When I went down there, I spent a lot of time with him,” Paulus said. “He’s the boss down there, he runs the show.” Each of the coaches who pursued Paulus said the same thing to Wleklinski regarding his potential at the ultimate amateur level. “He has a lot of intangibles,” Wleklinski said. “He has great basketball ability, but the coaches seem to point to his leadership ability and his work ethic, how hard he works, how hard he plays, his competitiveness. Those are the terms that they use when it comes to Greg. Not necessarily his basketball skills, but all the intangibles that are there.”

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