Jerome Harris: Chicago Star Coming Into His Own

David PetersonCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2008
He grew up in Chicago, blessed with a love of basketball and burgeoning athletic gifts.
When he got to high school and tried out for the varsity, though, he was stunned to be a starter he became determined to make himself into the best player he could be —which made him the best player anywhere.
Stop me if you've heard this one before.

You think you have, but do you really think there's a reason to revisit Michael Jordan's story one more time? This is about Jerome Harris, the dazzling point guard from Collins H.S in Chicago, the player who could be the No. 1 player in the recruiting class of 2009 by the time he arrives in college next autumn.
As a sophomore at Collins, Harris found himself as a reserve for the varsity. "That motivates me a lot," Harris said. "You've heard the story about how alot of people that went through obstacles to be where they at now. Michael Jordan faced a big obstacle something similar while in high school—but that's once in a lifetime. But that's something I look to. I wouldn't really say I got cut, but you've got to keep working harder, because you're not going to make every team you try for."
Harris probably will be safe regardless of whether he chooses UCLA, Georgetown, Memphis or any of another eight to ten schools pursuing him.

He has been impressive all spring and summer long with Team Detroit AAU team, earning respect as one of the elite in the class of 2009. He was invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy and put on a show against some of the nation's best. He's a 6'2", 170-pound playmaker with an upside similar to Jrue Holiday's. He approached the summer circuit with a plan and thats to be known, as well he did.
Getting cut helped change Harris's identity as a player. "I knew I was good, but I thought I was great, because that's something people were telling me," he said. "When I got cut, that shocked me. I had things to work on."

Harris still has to improve his jump shot. But as was the case with Jason Kidd in his high school days, being able to beat every defender to the basket, even those allowing a wide cushion, can make hitting three-pointers appear to be less a priority. As Kidd eventually became a capable jump shooter, Harris also has the ability to become, at the least, competent enough to keep defenders honest.
There have been bull markets this year in oil, gold, and European currency, but the only American commodity that hot is the point guard position. Chris Paul was second in NBA Most Valuable Player voting. Derrick Rose went No. 1 overall in the draft. Harris sees that, too, as incentive to play well.

"A lot of NBA teams, their point guards are getting old and they're looking for faster guys," Harris said. "Chris Paul, nobody thought he was going to do what he did, and you saw what happened. Derrick Rose, I love watching him play.
"A lot of teams are going to be looking for point guards sooner or later."