The wait is almost over! With a week of training camp, Saturday’s inter-squad scrimmage, and a handful of two-a-days firmly under their belt, Forward Mike Harris (#33) and Shooting Guard Justin Holiday (#22) are just 24 hours from their Utah Jazz Pre-Season debut. Potential roster candidates for a young team rebuilding towards the future, fans, followers, and supporters world-wide anxiously await tomorrow nights 9:00PM tip off, as the new look Jazz take on the visiting Golden State Warriors at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Stay tuned!
From the coastal shores of Ponce, Puerto Rico, to the majestic peaks of Utah’s Salt Lake Valley, it appears American forward Mike Harris may be staying closer to home this year. Released late Thursday night, the Utah Jazz have confirmed Harris will join a handful of other training camp invitees, vying for a full-time roster spot with the club for the 2013-2014 NBA season.
A D-League MVP, Chinese Basketball Association top performer since 2010, and arguably the best import to ever play in Puerto Rico’s BSN, Harris appears at the top of his game and is turning some heads in the process. Adding depth, veteran leadership, and outstanding versatility on both sides of the ball, the 6’6 Texas native seems to have quickly impressed Jazz personnel, offering tremendous upside to a young squad rebuilding towards the future. Sources close to the situation confirmed Harris’s energy and competitive nature were an instant draw, one even suggesting the decorated forward was the best free-agent candidate Utah executives have worked out since the end of last season.
With three open roster spots and a fan base that would instantly embrace Harris’s contagious spirit both on and off the court, I know I speak for fans all over the world when I say congratulations, and wish Mike the best of luck in the coming weeks. He has certainly earned the moment. Stay tuned!
Adding another accolade to an already impressive international resume, American Tayron Thomas, is back in Colombia and running on all cylinders. A recent Champion in the Dominican Republics Liga Nacional de Baloncesto (LNB), Thomas has returned to the Liga DirectTV (Colombia), stronger and more determined than ever. Leading the second ranked Bambuqueros to back-to-back victories over the weekend, the 6’3 point guard is rolling defenders averaging nearly 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per contest while shooting better than 55% from the field and 93% from the free-throw line.
With only a handful of games under his belt, the decorated American seems to be improving literally every time he steps on the floor and is arguably playing the best basketball of his storied career. Back in action Friday night against eighth ranked Aguilas, expect big things from Thomas and the rest of his Bambuqueros squad as they continue their impressive run towards the leagues top stop. Stay tuned!
If the 2013 BSN Finals were “all but over”, league MVP Mike Harris and company obviously did not get the memo. Down three games to one heading into Saturday’s nights game five match-up with the second ranked Piratas of Quebradillas, Harris and his top ranked Ponce Lions were out to make a statement. “Not in our house!”
Delivering a performance fitting to his title, the recently crowned 2013 BSN MVP literally took over on both ends, scoring 29 points, grabbing 18 rebounds, and perhaps hitting the biggest shot of his storied professional basketball career. Down three points with just twenty seconds left in regulation, Harris popped to the wing, shook his defender, and knocked down a contested three pointer with only seconds left, not only carrying his Lions into overtime but an eventual 95-92 victory.
Breathing life back into Puerto Rico’s most decorated franchise, Saturday’s victory moves Harris and Ponce ever closer to the clubs 13th championship. Facing arguably their toughest road test to date this coming Monday night in Quebradillas, all of Ponce Nation sits in eager anticipation as their Lions try to extend the series yet again, and return home Wednesday night for a must win game seven match-up. With Harris continuing to lead the way, certainly anything is possible. Stay tuned!
Hope this message finds all of you well. Just wanted to shoot out a note and let everyone know that we still have a few spaces available for our upcoming camp this Monday July 29, 2013 at Wood River High School in Hailey. The place where everything began so many years ago, 2013’s camp will be an exciting one, featuring a brand new curriculum, all new drills, and a very special guest. Marcus Thornton of the Sacramento Kings (#23), considered one of the NBA’s most efficient scorers, will be with us throughout the duration of the three day session, and we are so fortunate to have him.
Again, this year will be 100% different than virtually any camp we have ever run in the Wood River Valley, with more skills and playing competitions for the kids than ever before. I have to add, that as hard as we have pushed our participants this summer, it has hands down, been the most enjoyable summer to date. The dozens of emails I have received from parents and players in the last month confirm it. I would welcome any of those available and wishing to join, to visit our website and register. Look forward to seeing as many of you on the court as possible on Monday.
It has been said, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” American forward, Mike Harris, is living proof. Following Ponce’s loss in game one of the semi-finals last Monday night, the Lions thirty-year-old superstar did what most leading MVP candidates would do. He took over!
A force to be reckoned with, Harris was virtually unstoppable for four straight games, averaging more than 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists, on better than 66% shooting from the field. Connecting on 84% of his free throws and more than 60% of his three pointers, it is not hard to see why so many fans have tagged the 6’6 Texas native not only the Baloncesto Superior Nacional’s (BSN’s) best player, but arguably the countries most dominant import in more than a decade.
The BSN’s 2013 leader in scoring and rebounding, unanimous front-runner for league MVP, and hands down fan favorite, Harris continues to put serious coin to the phrase, “this dude is clearly playing in the wrong league.” With multiple executives looking for premium talent at a bargain price, an NBA return for Harris seems almost inevitable. Bringing veteran leadership, raw talent, and the consistent ability to thrive in literally every league he has played in, I know fans, followers, and supporters world wide expect big things from “Ponce’s King” throughout the finals and hopefully, for many years to come. Stay tuned!
NBA GM’s take note! For most players, 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists on better than 60% shooting is a good game. For American forward Mike Harris, the BSN’s most dominant player, it was a playoff series average. A heavy favorite for Puerto Rico’s coveted MVP title, Harris continued a force to be reckoned with Friday night, scoring, distributing, and leading his Ponce Lions to an impressive 104-89 game 7 victory over the Capitanes of Arecibo.
In a league littered with former NBA lottery and second round draft picks, Harris has not just been a standout performer, he has become the countries biggest star. The BSN’s leader in scoring and rebounding from day one, the 29-year-old is playing arguably the best basketball of his career, and perhaps making his strongest case to date for a 2013 NBA return.
Following an impressive 22 point fourth quarter performance in game three (18 straight in 7 minutes), Harris’s twitter feed looked like a New York stock exchange ticker, running ramped with fans and supporters worldwide taking to the web to show their love and support for “Ponce’s King”. Even Head Coach Nelson Colon offered his own praises suggesting, “It’s not just Mike’s personal play that has been outstanding, but how much he has impacted those around him all season long.”
A reputable source once told me some of the world’s greatest basketball players are not necessarily amongst the 450 elite who dawn NBA jerseys at the start of each season. With more than 500 million ball players worldwide, it is not hard to see why. But Mike Harris is an exception to the rule, a true baller, workhorse, and dominating presence in literally every league he has played including the NBA.
Is this the year Harris makes the cut? Only time will tell, but in this writer’s opinion the juice is worth the squeeze. The juice is definitely worth the squeeze. Stay tuned!
It is true, trading a top five-draft pick midway through their rookie season is a rarity – doing it twice in less than a year, nearly unheard of. But let’s be real. Soon to be NBA sophomore, Thomas Robinson, is hardly a clearance rack item, and Houston GM Daryl Morey knows it. Though Morey and company seem determined in their efforts to clear cap space by moving the power forwards $3.52 million salary in preparations for “Dwightmare” 2013, they are taking their time and understandably so.
Robinson still remains a virtual unknown. Drafted by a Sacramento franchise in total disarray, and traded mid-season to a Houston roster with too many bigs and limited time to develop his talents, it appears few including Morey gave a second thought, let alone even entertained, how good the twenty-two year old might actually be. Instead, Robinson was relegated to the bench, deemed a project, and shelved for reasons to be determined.
NBA Dream? Not quite! Robinson has arguably experienced more turmoil in his first season than most will in their entire career. Coaching issues? Check! Keith Smart is as qualified to develop talent as he is to fly a commercial airliner, and Kevin McHale (though a good coach), was understandably more focused on the Rockets playoff hunt than giving his young star the time of day. Mismanagement? Absolutely! Geoff Petrie (Sacramento) was on the fast track to unemployment and Morey has hinted several times now, that he acquired the forward as merely an attractive bargaining chip to quickly sacrifice in the off-season.
Fortunately, for Robinson and his camp, the wrongdoing that has faced the rookie at nearly every turn since draft night may soon come to an end. Since Houston went public with their plans just over a week ago, it has been reported more than a dozen teams have contacted the Rockets (Cleveland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Portland, Phoenix, and even Miami) to inquire about the big mans services, and it is not hard to see why.
Love him or hate him, Robinson is 6’10”, 240 pounds, has a 7’3″ wingspan, 35 inch vertical, 8’10’ standing reach, and an incredible ability to finish above the rim. A tenacious rebounder with a developing shooting touch from the outside, his speed, defensive presence, and uncompromising work ethic, offer an immediate and attractive package to any ball club looking to improve on the inside. Impact, potential, and upside are all attributes NBA GM’s are looking for in a rising star. Robinson clearly has all three and has been longing for an opportunity to prove it.
So what now? That is the million-dollar question, and hopefully (for Robinson’s sake) one that is soon to be answered. It must be noted, however, that Morey and the Rockets have put themselves in somewhat of a bind. Robinson is undoubtedly a tough asset to part with, especially considering his lack of opportunity, and Houston still has no indication Dwight will make the jump from LA. Morey is bold, but not stupid, and releasing Robinson too soon would surely be a death sentence for the forty-one year old General Manager.
Funny to think that one of Robinson’s first NBA moments came at the expense of Howard back in October. Now almost nine months later, the man he posterized is slated to become his replacement. Ironic? Not really! The latest round may go to Dwight Howard if Morey can pull off the impossible next month, but the true winner here seems to be Robinson and the team that is able to land him. As correspondent Conner Boyd suggested in his June 1st article, “He (Robinson) wants to get better, has all the physical and mental talents to become a skillful player and could eventually become the steal of a lifetime for any team if they are able to pull it off.” Stay tuned!
Out of sight but certainly not out of mind. Point guard Jordan Farmar may have taken his talents half way around the world last fall, but the 6’2 American seems more poised than ever for a big NBA return (and league GM’s are taking notice). Posting career best numbers while leading his Turkish squad to an impressive 25-5 record, the 26-year-old is a top contender for this years Euro-League MVP and appears a leading free-agency candidate for several NBA teams looking to improve their back-court this off-season.
Offering veteran leadership, experience, and solid production on both ends, it appears Farmar’s timing of his return could not be more impeccable. GM’s have struggled to find talent at the point over the last twelve months, as confirmed by Kenyon Dooling’s return from retirement in April, and playing perhaps the best basketball of his career, Farmar’s stock could not be higher. With the looming free-agency period less than a month away, several league sources have confirmed Farmar an obvious lock for a back-up role, some even suggesting the two-time NBA Champion could see some staring minutes. Represented by top NBA agent Tony Dutt, the mastermind behind Farmer’s meticulously crafted annual buyout clause, as Farmar himself alluded in Lucas Sheiner exclusive interview last month, “I think I’ll be back much sooner than the end of the contract.” This writer would certainly have to agree. Stay tuned!
Philadelphia 76er Justin Holiday may be two years removed from his University of Washington playing days, but the NBA sophomore certainly has not forgotten about his Seattle roots. The 6’6 guard announced today, his upcoming return to the Pacific Northwest, to train, mentor, and give back to the community that so tremendously supported him throughout his collegiate career. Holiday has officially partnered with HSBCAMPS, America’s fastest growing youth basketball initiative, and the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer Island to bring kids of all ages and abilities face-to-face with the pros. Joined by brother and fellow 76er Jrue, the “Holiday Bros” will headline an All-Star staff of collegiate and professional players and coaches in attendance during the three-day event, July 22-24, 2013.
“I could not be more excited to team with HSBCAMPS and the Boy’s & Girls Club of Mercer Island for such an amazing event, especially on my old stomping grounds,” shared Holiday. “I have always wanted to do something like this in the Seattle area for the fans, supporters, and most importantly the kids that have supported me throughout my career.” A member of the Boy’s & Girls Club as young child in Pasadena, California, Holiday jumped at the opportunity to give back to the organization with which he shares many of his earliest basketball memories.
Offering two daily sessions for boys and girls in the elementary, middle, and high school grades (K-12), this unique event will certainly be one not to be missed. For more information or to register contact email@example.com or visit https://www.new.hsbcamps.com/camps/mercer-island-washington/. Limited availability remains so don’t delay!
HSBCAMPS Mercer Island Highlights:
- Brand New Curriculum – ALL NEW DRILLS!
- 8:1 Player to Coach Ratio
- 15+ Hours of Individualized Skill Instruction
- 1-on-1 Training with Actual NBA Pros: Justin Holiday (#14), NBA All-Star Jrue Holiday (#11), NBA Veterans Mike Harris (#33), & Felipe Lopez (#13)
- Lesson Plans & Evening Assignments
- Intense Mental & Physical Training
- Small Group Format – Only The First 100 Registrations Will Be Accepted!