Aaron Harrison Is Looking For His Break in Dallas
By Isaac Harris
With his twin brother in Memphis, Aaron Harrison is looking for his chance to stick in the NBA with his recent signing in Dallas.
The high school class of 2013 was headlined by Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
After that, there were five players committed to the University of Kentucky. Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson and James Young were ranked three, seven and eight. The other two were the Harrison twins out of Houston, Texas.
Andrew was ranked the 5th while Aaron was ranked 9th.
After two years in college, the twins decided to test the waters in the NBA Draft. Andrew Harrison was selected 44th overall by the Phoenix Suns and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. In the 2016-17 season Andrew would appear in 72 games while appearing in 55 this season so far.
His brother, Aaron, has had a much different route.
Aaron went undrafted, but after an impressive summer league, he would sign a multi-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets where he appeared in 21 games his first season. He would spend the majority of his time assigned to the G-League before getting waived in January of 2017.
He has been in the G-League ever since.
“It is a different experience than a lot of guys but I wouldn’t trade it. It has taught me a lot. It has helped me become a man and I am grateful for it,” Harrison said about his unconventional path so far in his career.
Following a 45 point game in the G-League, Harrison finally got the call he has been waiting for when Dallas called offering a 10-day contract on March 22nd.
“It was a great feeling. I have been working really hard this year,” Harrison said.
When the Mavericks Head Coach, Rick Carlisle, was asked about Harrison coming in, Carlisle says he will definitely get his opportunity.
“He has an opportunity. He is a two guard that can shoot the ball,” Carlisle said. “I talked to Jeff Van Gundy who coached him on the USA team and Jeff had positive things to say about him.”
As for what Carlisle expects out of him on the Mavericks, “Shoot when I am open and don’t be hesitant. Play hard. Do the little things,” Harrison said.
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During his time at Kentucky, Harrison helped lead the Wildcats to back-to-back Final Four appearances. He played 79 games (78 starts) as a Wildcat and had career collegiate averages of 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 29.2 minutes per contest.
For Carlisle, his collegiate career wasn’t something that he remembered much of.
“I don’t know that much about his college career. Things happen. Sometimes your career takes roundabout twists,” Carlisle said. “I don’t know him that well.”
Now, it’s Harrison’s job to change that and make a name for himself.
In Harrison’s first game in Dallas, he had six points and two rebounds in 19 minutes of play off the bench. Even though he received a DNP-CD in his second game, he should get a decent amount of minutes on the upcoming road trip out west.
As for advice he would give to players that might take a similar route as him, Harrison says to always stay confident in yourself.
“Stay confident in yourself. You have to believe in yourself no matter what…just never give up.”
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Harrison will have a handful of games to convince the Dallas Mavericks that he isn’t giving up and that he belongs in the league.