Photo via @its_zionharmon
The last home game of the regular season is supposed to be senior night but the Kentucky Wildcats don’t have a senior on the current roster. In addition to that, they don’t have a scholarship player on the team from the state of Kentucky, two things that die-hard Kentucky fans don’t want to see happen again.
The state of Kentucky doesn’t have a reputation as a hot bed for basketball recruiting but the state has still produced some talented athletes over the years. Since Calipari has been at Kentucky, names such as Darius Miller, Derek Willis, and Dominique Hawkins are the most popular instate talents that have wore the blue and white but none of those three were rated higher than a four-star.
Top prospects from the state of Kentucky are very rare and there haven’t been many over the years but even when they are, Kentucky hasn’t landed them at the rate you would think. Fans were mind blown when Tubby Smith didn’t land Chris Lofton, a four-star guard that went onto be a star at Tennessee. They felt the same way after five-star guard Scotty Hopson slipped through the cracks to Knoxville.
I understand John Calipari’s logic to go for top talent, no matter where it’s from. Good news for him, the top player in the 2021 class plays high school basketball in the state of Kentucky, even though he’s not originally from the Bluegrass state. Zion Harmon, a 5-11 point guard, plays for Adair County High School.
Harmon has been playing at a high level his entire career, as he was the first seventh-grader to play on the Nike EYBL circuit and more recently, he played for the U.S. national team, where he averaged 11.4 points and 3.2 assists per game on his way to leading his U16 team to the 2017 FIBA Americas Championship.
Prior to his move to Adair County, Harmon averaged 16.8 points per game to lead Bowling Green to a state championship in 2017 as an eighth-grader. Now, as a freshman, he is averaging 33.3 points per game and just led Adair County to a district championship.
Harmon is playing for his third high school team in three seasons. As a seventh-grader, he played for Lighthouse Christian School in Nashville, Tennessee, where he scored 523 points. In all, Harmon has scored more than 2,000 points in his high school career but the KHSAA will not count his points scored in Tennessee. However, he will make that up in no time, as he will likely end this post season run with 1,000 points scored for the season.
It’s still early in his recruitment but he has already received offers from Creighton, Missouri, and Vanderbilt just to name a few while Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, and Louisville have shown interest. He was an unofficial visitor for Kentucky’s annual Big Blue Madness last October.
He might not be a homegrown Kentucky kid but this is one kid John Calipari should strongly pursue over the next three years. One that talented just can’t slip through the cracks or go elsewhere.
Check out highlights of Harmon from the district championship game earlier this week.
— Frankie Vision (@Frankie_Vision) February 25, 2018