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Quinn Cook’s Rise From Two-Way Player To Living The NBA Dream

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NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Quinn Cook has been one of the feel-good stories in the NBA this season. A player that was cut by the Atlanta Hawks just before the season started, he signed with the Golden State Warriors under the newly enacted two-way contract rule, allowing him to spend up to 45 days with the Warriors while playing primarily for Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Sports Illustrated has a tremendous article out about his unorthodox career path to this point, where he is making an impact with the defending NBA champions. From the Canton Charge to the Dallas Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans to a two-way deal with Golden State, Quinn Cook is proving that hard work, determination, and making the most of your opportunity can get you into a good situation.

Playing at DeMatha Catholic and then a McDonald’s All American at Oak Hill Academy before he came to Duke, Quinn Cook played with tenacity, incredible skill and vision, and a little bit of swagger. With the Duke Blue Devils, he developed into a terrific leader, first learning behind players like Austin Rivers and Seth Curry. He then took what he learned to eventually lead a Duke team powered by a freshman class of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, and Grayson Allen to the 2015 NCAA national championship.

That didn’t lead to draft success that summer. He went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, crying in a friend’s car afterwards. But, did he stop there? Not a chance.

He took every opportunity given to him and he excelled at it. He was the 2016 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, a 3-time D-League/G League All Star (winning MVP in 2017), and has been on the All D-League/G League 1st Team in 2017 and 2018.

He more than earned his shot with the Warriors, and despite all that, he took the opportunity to get minutes after Stephen Curry went down in early March with an ankle injury, only to come back and injure his knee in his return. Cook has flourished, averaging close to 20 minutes a game and being one of Golden State’s steady hands in their potent offense.

Quinn Cook is easily one of my top 5 Duke players ever, and the kudos he is getting from around the league this season is well worth it. It will be interesting to see what happens when Curry does return to the floor, but one thing’s for sure: Quinn Cook has earned his place in the Golden State rotation and his positioned himself to possibly add NBA champion to his long list of accolades.

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