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Signing Day: Jaden Schutt spent years dreaming of Duke, just like his future coach Jon Scheyer

Jaden Schutt is the first local recruit for new Duke coach Jon Scheyer.

Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt double checks with his father, Jeff, before signing his letter of intent to Duke as his mother Lori, left looks on.
Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt double checks with his father, Jeff, before signing his letter of intent to Duke as his mother Lori, left looks on.
Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun-Times

Yorkville Christian senior Jaden Schutt signed his letter of intent to Duke on Wednesday surrounded by his family and teammates at school.

Afterward, he talked with reporters about wearing a Blue Devils jersey as a kid and his father, Jeff Schutt, reminisced about his boys watching tapes of JJ Redick’s shot.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play at Duke,” Schutt said.

It all sounded familiar. And fitting.

Schutt is the first local recruit for new Duke coach Jon Scheyer and a major part of Scheyer’s first recruiting class. Sixteen years ago, Scheyer, wearing a blue shirt and tie and surrounded by his family and friends in the suburbs, said it was his childhood dream to play for Duke.

“When I was little, after Christian Laettner’s shot against Kentucky, I made my mom and dad go down in the basement and reenact it,” Scheyer said. “My dad was Grant Hill, and my mom was Kentucky.”

Schutt and Scheyer hit it off over the summer.

“It’s a new era [at Duke],” Schutt said. “I have all the confidence in the world that I’ve made the right decision to have him be my coach. He’s a very knowledgeable guy, especially with him having played the shooting guard position at Duke. I just thought that was really special.”

Jeff Schutt, a chiropractor who is heavily involved in sports performance training, was impressed with Duke’s presentation to his family. Scheyer involved the Duke trainer and nutritionist.

“Most schools it was just about the coach and the style of play,” Jeff Schutt said. “Duke went a step further. I don’t know if they scouted us well or what, but they knew where we were coming from.

“And Scheyer is still young enough that he can get out there and show Jaden stuff. [Scheyer] said that Jaden reminded him a lot of himself and that he could help Jaden avoid a lot of the pitfalls and help him in areas where he needs to succeed. They related really well.”

Scheyer’s Signing Day at Glenbrook North was a media event. He was a major star in the area after leading the Spartans to the state championship as a junior.

Schutt is basically a total unknown to local sports fans. Due to the pandemic, we just don’t know these young high school basketball stars the way we usually do.

Schutt set the state record for three-pointers made in a game on Dec. 13, 2019. He drained 17 against Universal to eclipse Sycamore’s Andy Thomas, who made 16 in a game in 1993.

The Mustangs are a Class 1A school, so Schutt actually experienced a full playoff run that year as a sophomore. Yorkville Christian lost to Fenger in the sectional title game.

Schutt will be one of the area’s major draws this season. Yorkville Christian has lined up a challenging schedule and is the preseason favorite to win the Class 1A state title.

Schutt is no longer just a shooter. He flashed his dunking skills and serious athletic ability over the summer. That was a key to getting the Duke offer.

“He’s developed a lot in that area,” York-ville Christian coach Aaron Sovern said. He’s just a great kid, and it’s a great family. He’s part of the culture that we are developing. I couldn’t be prouder for him and the family. Duke’s getting a good one.”