Gary Harris was one of draft-night’s biggest sliders. Projected by some as a top-10 pick, the Michigan State guard fell well out of the lottery before being snatched up by the Denver Nuggets (via trade with the Chicago Bulls) with the 19th selection of the first round. Given his inspirational ambition since childhood, though, it certainly seems that Harris won’t let that relative disappointment affect his NBA career.
You hear stories of the incredible drive and will that professional athletes have at a young age. And while it’s wrong to doubt the veracity of those tall tales, it’s still always nice to actually see them in action. Hours after the draft, Harris’ father and Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski provided us that opportunity.
Gary Harris Sr., showed me photo of printout his son, Gary, hung over his bed as 11-year old. The kid's a Nugget now. pic.twitter.com/RXaNz8dmbh
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 27, 2014
The self-made banner above a pre-teen Harris’ bed reads: “What did you do today that will get you into the NBA?”
It’s easy to buy into the naive belief that NBA players have simply been blessed with preternatural ability and that they’ve made it to basketball’s highest level on those awesome talents alone. The amazing combination of size and athleticism of the sport’s best certainly makes it seem like that approach is possible. But the truth is something almost entirely different – that it takes a combination of those nearly unparalleled physical gifts plus an equally rare work ethic to reach basketball’s peak.
Harris, obviously, is a perfect example of that fact. He’s been planning and working towards this moment for almost 10 years. And if that’s any indication of Harris’ future aspirations, it won’t shock when he proves his surprising drop in the draft wrong.
Is Harris a steal for Denver at 19?
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