Ranked as the top prospect in the class of 2021 for Phenom Hoops, Dontrez Styles has been a name rising up the ranks nationally. It seems that Kinston has yet another star on their hands, continuing their proud tradition of producing premier talent.
Helping the Vikings to a 26-4 overall record, Styles put on a show all year long averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. With his production, he has attracted the eyes of several big-time programs, including from several in-state schools.
Phenom Hoops brings you the latest player blog featuring one of the top talents in the state and in the country. Check out the latest.
PHR: How has everything been going for you after an impressive season? What have you been working and focusing on these days?
Styles: Everything has been good, working on my jump shot and ball handling.
PHR: Discuss a little about this season? What was your mindset coming and what were you hoping to show? Were you able to show what you wanted on the court personally?
Styles: The season was great. It didn’t end the way we wanted but overall, it was good. I just came into every game focused and locked in. I feel like I could have done a little better but overall, it was a good season.
PHR: Kinston finished with a 26-4 record, another impressive season for a program that has such great history. How do you think this team played this year and what were some of the best moments from the season for you with this team?
Styles: We played very well. Not to our full potential but we played well. My best moment with the team is when we played at the John Wall Invitational.
PHR: How is it playing for such a program with a storied history in regards to talent and with past that many programs can’t match?
Styles: It’s a great feeling playing at Kinston high school. It means a lot to me being able to wear that across my chest knowing all the greats that have come from here.
PHR: How did you see your team grow on the court over the year, as well as your game?
Styles: We grew every game as a team and I grew a lot. I think my leadership got way better.
PHR: You are ranked as the top prospect in North Carolina for your class, so you certainly have the attention of each opponent? What focus do you come in with each and every game and how do you handle it?
Styles: I just come in with a killer mindset and I don’t let all that ranking stuff get to me. I just stay off a lot of social media and get better as a player and person.
PHR: Speaking of ranking, you have really been rising up the rankings for your class nationally? What has that been like, seeing that all your hard work continues to pay off but also knowing that you’re not done, continuing to push yourself each day?
Styles: It’s cool and all but I don’t let it get to me. Some sources have me at 58 but I know I’m not 58, so it doesn’t matter to me. And I work out every day and I use that as fuel.
PHR: Back to playing at Kinston… The history with that program and past players playing at the next level and in the NBA runs deep. What kind of relationship do you have with some of those players and what all do you talk about? What do they tell you about playing at the next level?
Styles: I talk to Brandon (Ingram) and Reggie (Bullock) at times, they just tell me to keep working and to trust God and that the college and NBA level is very physical. Brandon and I are kind of close.
PHR: What is it like to have someone like Brandon to look up to, someone that has been there and can show you what it is like?
Styles: It means a lot. He was an All-Star this year, so I try to pick his brain as much as possible.
PHR: What motivates you each and every day as a player?
Styles: Just seeing my parents go to work every day and come back home tired is what motivates me each day.
PHR: On to your recruitment now… Overall, how has it been racking up offers from around the country and is it sometimes hard to believe or do you have to take a step back to let it all sink in?
Styles: It means a lot to me when I get an offer, just knowing that coaches want me to come play for them is just a blessing.
PHR: You have garnered a lot of attention from in-state schools. Wake Forest, NC State, East Carolina, North Carolina have all offered. What has it been like to secure those offers from programs not far from you and the potential of playing close to home? Is that a big player early on with you and your recruitment?
Styles: Having in-state schools offer me is a blessing, just knowing your family can come to games is just amazing.
PHR: North Carolina is your latest offer and one of the blue-blood programs in the country? What were your immediate thoughts when hearing about the offer and how did it all go down? Was there anything going through your mind once you received that offer?
Styles: The North Carolina offer was big for me. Coach Williams called me that morning we talked for like 15 minutes, then he called back that night to talk to me and my family. That is when he offered and it felt great. UNC is a great school.
PHR: Several other schools from around the country have offered. What have the programs been mostly saying to you and what they like about your game on the court?
Styles: Most of the schools are just saying I can come in and make an immediate impact, they like that I’m very versatile.
PHR: What schools have you been able to visit and when you do visit, what are some factors that you really start to look at when you visit or even talk to coaches?
Styles: I visited NC State and North Carolina. Some factors I look at is the type of relationship we have and the style of play.
PHR: What other schools have been showing strong interest your way that have not yet offered?
Styles: Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Auburn have all been in touch.
PHR: What have those schools been talking and discussing with you?
Styles: Just checking in on me, saying that I will be a great fit. They check on me daily almost and that stands out.
PHR: If someone would come and ask you what it takes to get where you are today, what would you tell them?
Styles: I would tell them hard work and just trusting God and never lose faith.
Get to know the Player:
PHR: What do you like to do outside of basketball?
Styles: I like to bowl and play video games outside of basketball
PHR: Which player do you model your game after and follow the most?
Styles: I model my game after Kawhi and I have been watching Jayson Tatum and Paul George.
PHR: If you had to play another sport, what sport would that be?
Styles: I would play football if I didn’t play basketball.
PHR: What is your favorite subject in school?
Styles: My favorite subject is science.
PHR: What is your favorite food?
Styles: Macaroni and cheese
PHR: If you could pick any NBA player to play against, who would it be?
Styles: I would pick Kevin Durant