Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Hoop State native Caleb Foster has blazed his own trail over the years to become one of the top guards in the 2023 class and the future quarterback of Coach Scheyer’s offense at Duke. Currently running the show at Oak Hill Academy (VA), Foster has continued to develop his game since our last interview with him at Border League this past October. A cerebral guard by nature, Foster plays with a maturity beyond his years as he directs the offense, sets up teammates and puts pressure on the rim. While his game is still taking shape, the upside and production in a tough NIBC field are strong indicators that Foster has what it takes to have a long professional career.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Foster discussed his basketball journey, playing in the NIBC, recruiting on behalf of Duke, possibly re-classifying to 2022, his off-season plans, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Caleb Foster, from Harrisburg, North Carolina:
Pro Insight: Talk about your season thus far — how would you say you’ve been playing up to your own expectations?
Caleb Foster: Our season has been a little bit up and down — we started off pretty good in Vegas [Border League], but it’s been good getting to know guys and learning how to play with guys. But I feel like we’re just now learning how to play together, so going into GEICO I feel like we’ve got a really good chance.
PI: Any teammates that have surprised you with their play this season?
CF: Jordan Marsh, Mercy Miller…of course guys like Judah Mintz and Chris Livingston. My future teammate Christian Reeves has been playing well. I mean I’ve known those guys and I expect them to play like that, so we’re playing well and competing everyday to get better.
PI: What has the adjustment been like to playing in the NIBC?
CF: NIBC is great, the best league in high school basketball. It’s kinda like the ACC in college basketball…it’s good to play against the best to prepare you for college. This year and next year is going to be really huge — I love playing against the best competition.
PI: Is playing against the top competition something you’ve always sought out or embraced?
CF: Yeah, because that’s how you’re going to get better — you play against people who are better or just as good as you.
PI: Talk about your basketball journey — how did you get to where you are today?
CF: I started off kinda slow…like when I was younger I didn’t really get to play and people didn’t get to see me play. I made a move in eighth grade, I played with CP3 and I moved to PSB Elite, which was not like a high-level program. I went over there and finally got to play and one thing came to another and PSB Elite became Team Curry. From there I kinda blew up and I transferred to Oak Hill and my recruitment really took off.
PI: Was there a moment in your early basketball career where you felt like you could go play D1 or professionally?
CF: Yeah for sure, after I moved from CP3 to PSB Elite where they started letting me play. Freshman year at my old high school is when I thought I could really take this seriously and be really good.
PI: How did that alter your approach to the game?
CF: It definitely got me more motivated knowing that my hard work was paying off.
PI: For a lot of young players with hoop dreams there’s a lot of time that goes into the gym — can you talk a bit about those unseen hours?
CF: The unseen hours with me and my dad get really really intense [smiles]. We go to the gym two times every day when I’m at home. It’s really fun and I appreciate what my parents have done for me. My dad goes in there and pushes me to the limit and he’s a big part of why I am the player I am today.
PI: Did your dad play collegiately or professionally?
CF: No sir, he played in high school.
PI: Who are some of the tougher matchups you’ve faced this season?
CF: Honestly I could say the toughest matchups are in practice guarding Chris Livingston, Judah Mintz and even Jordan Marsh. Chris knows how to use his body really well, he gets really low, can shoot unbelievably. Judah has phenomenal footwork and great pace. Jordan is one of those guys who moves really fast/quick and you’re going to have to learn how to guard those guys at the next level.
PI: How has your game grown so far this year?
CF: I feel like this year has kinda been a learning year for me. I haven’t been playing as well as I should be playing, but it’s a stepping stone in my career that I need to learn from. I definitely feel like I’m getting better watching film and learning the game.
PI: Is watching film something you weren’t emphasizing enough prior to this season?
CF: Yeah I wasn’t really looking at it. Me and Coach Mike sit down and he breaks it down and shows me the moves or decisions I need to be making…then we go out on the court and we practice it.
PI: What are your plans for the summer?
CF: Since I’m going to be training in Rochester, New York, and also staying at my uncle’s crib for the entire spring and summer, my family and I have decided that I will play with an AAU team out there on the east coast. Haven’t decided yet, just focusing on getting right with my team before we head into GEICO.
PI: How would you describe the basketball culture in North Carolina?
CF: I feel like in North Carolina there’s a lot of good basketball. There are a lotta guys who aren’t nationally noticed, but are good ball players in regular public schools. It’s the Hoop State where the best basketball players come from.
PI: Last time we spoke, we discussed what went into committing to Duke — any chance you could re-class to join this talented 2022 group?
CF: Yep, that’s definitely an option that Coach Scheyer and I have talked about, but I haven’t made a final decision yet…that will come after GEICO most likely, whether I want to go or stay.
PI: What factors into a decision like that?
CF: Nothing really, it’s all about how I feel. If I feel like I’m ready or not, but yeah that’s pretty much it. It’s really all up to me.
PI: Physically do you feel like you could handle the jump to college?
CF: I definitely feel like I still have a little ways to go, but if I need to I can get there.
PI: Is there anything you still have left to prove in high school?
CF: Uh, I mean yeah a little bit, but I feel like I can prove everything over the summer if I do decide to stay. Yes and no a little bit, but if I decide to stay I’ll definitely be proving why I feel like I’m the best PG and player in the class.
PI: Any other players you’re recruiting to Durham?
PI: What’s your recruitment pitch to those guys?
CF: I mean really when we went down [accompanied Jared McCain to Virginia Tech game] there it sold itself pretty much. Like the crazies started getting into chanting his and my name…”we want Jared” this and that. I feel like we have a good chance of getting him and it’s home for him I feel like.
PI: What was Duke and Coach Scheyer’s consistent message to you throughout the recruiting process?
CF: He was kinda just like coaching me. Wanted me to keep leading, be more vocal, pick up my teammates, do all of the little things, etc. Really he was coaching me and telling me things I need to do, which stood out to me, too. He set himself apart by doing that.
PI: Other programs recruiting you weren’t doing that as much?
CF: Nah others weren’t doing that as much. He came out of the jump and when he started recruiting me it was consistent contact every day and he made sure that he wanted me as his PG.
PI: What motivates you to work hard?
CF: Just seeing my family — my dad and how hard he works, my mom what she’s sacrificed for me to travel and play basketball my whole life basically. That’s what motivates me, seeing them go hard and waking up in the morning every day. Pushing every day. I want to pay them back one day.
PI: What do your parents do for work?
CF: My mom works in Human Resources and my dad is a retired State Trooper. My dad basically just follows me around and we get in the gym. His job now is to stay on me, help me, and guide me as far as we can go.
PI: What is some of the best advice you’ve received and why has that stuck with you?
CF: My dad always tells me to not do what everybody else does. He told me to just go in the game and don’t go out there thinking and stuff like that. “Just go out there and play your game. Be relaxed.” That’s one of the biggest things he told me, just go out there and be calm and let your hard work show. That’s the main thing my dad would talk about when I was younger, to stay calm because you can’t really do nothing when you’re nervous.
PI: Do you get nervous in games anymore?
CF: I used to when I was little, but I feel like it’s kinda worn off of me.
PI: You’re a Steelers fan — putting your GM hat on, what would you do to help them this off-season?
CF: We definitely gotta get us a QB so we either draft one, like the dude from Ole Miss Matt Corral, or we try to get Russell Wilson or Aaron Rogers. I heard Aaron is maybe not happy in Green Bay so I feel like if we get him we’re going to the Super Bowl. That’s the biggest thing, I feel like we need a QB to replace Big Ben. I would take Jimmy Garoppolo…I don’t feel like he’s as bad as people say.
PI: If you woke up tomorrow to see $10 million in your bank account, what would be your first purchase?
CF: I will definitely pay off my sister’s student loans first. Any debt that my people have, try to help them out. After that I’d have fun with it, I guess…definitely buying a house in Charlotte, NC. I would save at least half of it, make sure my family is ok, and keep grinding. I would buy myself a car like a Jeep or Camaro.
PI: Jeep Trackhawk?
CF: Nah my dad’s not going for that…I think I might kill myself in that [smiles]. Probably like a Wrangler or basic Camaro.
PI: If you were going to do anything other than basketball for a career, what would it be?
CF: I played wide receiver in football up until eighth grade, but I didn’t like all that came with it, like the hitting and stuff. My dad said I was pretty good…so probably football, honestly.
PI: If your life was a book or movie, what would the title be?
CF: That’s tough…Probably like The Hard Knock Journey of Caleb Foster…coming from people not letting me play or getting the opportunity to play to going somewhere like PSB, a program that gets high-level players, but isn’t like an EYBL or circuit type of team…doing that and getting back on track with Team Curry on the UAA/EYBL circuit…there were hard times, I had a coach tell me that highest I was going to go was Winston-Salem State University, so that motivated me. My dad always stood by my side telling me that the work is going to show and it’s all about how much work you put in.
PI: Describe what you envision your life will look like five years from now.
CF: Hopefully, God willing, I’ll be playing in the NBA. Working out and training every day trying to become an All-Star and winning an NBA championship.