LAS VEGAS — When most athletes talk about their last game, all they’re doing is recapping something that probably ended within the hour. When Harry Giles discusses his last game, he has to go all the way back to March of 2017 — he played nine minutes and grabbed three rebounds in Duke’s 88-81 loss to South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Giles’ life since then has featured about as much competitive basketball as you or I have played. A former Top 3 recruit — ESPN had him as the nation’s top prospect — Giles has spent the last year and a half of his life working on his body. His knee issues are well-documented, but instead of being a tragic story about a person who couldn’t make it into their 20s before their body betrayed them, Giles put in the work.
The Sacramento Kings selected Giles with the 20th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. The Kings were uniquely positioned to take a swing on Giles, as that was their third first-round pick in 2017. There was no pressure on Giles to come in and contribute right away, which made Sacramento’s decision to have him go through a redshirt year a little easier.
It gave Giles the opportunity to get in the weight room, something he emphasizes when looking back on the last year of his life.