Caribbean Dreams: ASU's De'Quon Lake still learning the game

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De’Quon Lake first picked up basketball six years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) De’Quon Lake first picked up basketball six years ago. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The forward is averaging 12.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg while leading ASU in blocked shots with six. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The forward is averaging 12.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg while leading ASU in blocked shots with six. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Head coach Bob Hurley was able to recruit Lake with the promise of great weather. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Head coach Bob Hurley was able to recruit Lake with the promise of great weather. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Bobby Hurley first got a look at De’Quon Lake during a junior college game at Iowa Western last winter.

“I was at a game where he was phenomenal,” Hurley recalled. “He had 17 field goals in the game so yeah, he made an impression on me.”

Enough seen. Enough said. Hurley and his staff immediately ramped up their recruiting efforts and by March of 2017 the 6-10, 225-pound Lake had committed to ASU. Hurley’s persuasiveness may have been effective but perhaps ASU’s biggest recruiting tool in the case was the sun.

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“Yeah,” admits Lake. “Weather definitely played a part.”

After considering offers from the likes of Iowa St. and Kansas St., it’s no surprise Lake would be drawn to the warm temperatures of Tempe. He’s a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I don’t want to step out into the cold where it’s like -10 degrees,” said Lake. “And you have to run to practice. I didn’t want to do that anymore.”

Growing up in the Virgin Islands, De’Quon Lake was actually a baseball player. With basketball exposure on the Islands limited, Lake didn’t discover the hard court until he moved to the United States in the eighth grade. Upon arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina, Lake was still intent on playing baseball. His coaches, however, had other ideas.

“When people saw that I was growing, they wanted me to play basketball,” said Lake. “But I didn’t want to play. People encouraged me though and I eventually started liking it.”

And Lake stuck with it despite some humble beginnings.

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” recalls Lake. “All I did was stand there on the court, stay on the baseline and wait for the ball. That’s all I knew.”

It didn’t take long though for Lake to figure out basketball was his calling and his ticket to college. After graduating high school, Lake spent two years at Iowa Western C.C. before settling in at ASU for the 2017-18 season. So far, Lake has been a huge part of the Sun Devils rise to a 20th ranking in the latest AP Poll. The forward is averaging 12.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg while leading ASU in blocked shots with six.

[READ MORE: Sun Devils return to Top 25 for the first time since 2009]

“His explosiveness around the basketball and the way he challenges shots is something,” said Hurley. “I think he’s become a crowd favorite because of how explosive he is.”

Not bad for a player who first picked up a basketball six years ago. Not bad for a player who’s only scratching the surface.

“Oh yeah,” said Lake. “I know I have a lot to learn. I feel like I’m just beginning. I feel like I’m just beginning to use the gifts I have.”

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