Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway High School forward Barnett Harris didn’t have the year that he wanted to have personally, but helped Gateway to its first district title in the school’s history.
Harris is hearing from the Nittany Lions.
Harris, who lists himself at 6-foot-8 and 202 pounds, felt he didn’t live up to the expectations set for him during the 2010-11 season.
The year ended on a sour note in the Gators’ final game, when Harris went down with a back injury that was originally feared to be serious, as he laid motionless on the court for an extended period of time after a fall in Gateway’s PIAA playoff loss to Mt. Lebanon. The injury turned out to be a bruised spine, and Harris has since been cleared for play and has started working out again.
The junior set high standards for his personal play, and knows that he needs to work on in order to take his game to the next level.
“I can’t pass up on as many shots as I did this year, and I have to start attacking the hoop more because I was a little hesitant when it came to driving to the basket,” admitted Harris over the phone. “I only have one more year left and I have to start attacking the bucket as hard as I can.”
While Harris is a bit hard on himself, the junior must be doing something right, as can be seen by the caliber of schools in contact with him.
Penn State, Duquesne, Rutgers, Kent State, Boston College, and Wisconsin have all been in the mix and talking to Harris, with all of the schools except Penn State and Boston College verbally offering the Pittsburgh native a scholarship.
Though the Nittany Lions haven’t offered, Harris still receives mail from Penn State a lot, but because of the down period isn’t allowed to talk to the coaches directly. The junior isn’t in a rush to commit yet, but is waiting to see what the contact is like once the down period ends this upcoming weekend.
“I'm going to wait a little bit more, I'm going to see how Penn State is going to come after me now that their season is done and see if they like me,” he said. “After that I am going to pick and choose what schools will be best for me.”
Harris will be spending his summer looking to add weight, saying he will be hitting the gym ‘a lot’ in addition to playing AAU ball.