[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Ryan Harrow: The Gatorade Georgia High School Player of the Year.
*Note: Some details may not be exactly accurate… a side effect of my amazement and disbelief of the situation.
Back in, let’s see… the winter of 2008, I had the privilege of seeing Ryan Harrow play alongside his former high school teammate Glen Rice Jr. at a tournament in which my high school Basketball team was playing. Our team had just finished up playing and losing as we sat in the stands taking in the spectacle of two future Division 1 athletes competing alongside each other. Oh yeah, may I add that I had 12 points in the previous game?
The game, being played in the Roundball Classic or something like that in Science Hill, Tennessee was entertaining enough until the true show started. Walton High School, in Marietta, Georgia, was dominating the game against a country school from Tennessee until a fight broke loose that was extremely entertaining to say the least. All but 3 Walton players were kicked out of the game due to the fight’s course of events, including Glen Rice Jr. (A foreshadowing of what was to come as he eventually got kicked off Georgia Tech’s Basketball team this past season.) Ryan Harrow, being the level-headed guy that he is, along with two other bench players remained on the court for Walton while the other team had most of their team intact and 18, count em, 18 free throws to shoot because of all the technicals. I certainly did not know that was possible but anything can happen down in Tennessee. The gap at this point was about 25 points or so and the designated free throw shooter only made 10-18 to close the gap to 15 points. There was still time enough, however, for a team of 5 vs. a team of 3 to come back.
That wasn’t quite the case as Ryan said “No sir” to all 5 of those players at once. Yes, with about 6 minutes or maybe even more remaining, the team of 5 could not come back against the team of 3. In fact, if my memory serves correct, Walton extended their lead thanks to Harrow’s insane display of dribbling and free throw shooting. You really could appreciate the story more if you were there, obviously, but let this whet your appetite for next year. Harrow opened my eyes in that game with his yo-yo like style of dribbling, and insane hops. He pressed the other team alone! And he stole the ball from the other team many times, Alone! The two players left with him were reserves. They weren’t even that good. Ryan Harrow almost, and I say almost because the two other players were certainly adequate, but almost, took a team down playing 1 on 5 for 5-6 minutes.
Two things are impressive from this account of events. Number 1 being that Ryan kept a level enough head to not get involved in the fight like the rest of his team and number 2 being the fact that he pressed and beat a press 1 on 5. At this tournament I thought to myself that this dude was definitely going D1. Little did I know fate would bring him to UK to possibly lead the 2012-13 Basketball team on a deep postseason run.
Ryan Harrow did eventually win the Gatorade player of the year in Georgia. Fitting because it definitely “is in him.”
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