Four Star Center Has BC Offer

As the hoops recruiting season hits full speed, more and more names are turning up on recruiting lists for college programs. Damontre Harris has made a big splash during the tournament circuit. He was the talk of the NBAPA 100 camp in Charlottesville VA and has seen his offer list explode.

The recruiting schedule for hoops prospects is a bit different this year. Changes in NCAA regulations are putting pressure on kids to commit early. It is also putting pressure on coaches to get in touch with prospects much earlier than usual. It has also turned June and July into the key months for prospects to showcase their skills in front of scouts and college coaches.

The consequence is formally unknown players are rocketing up the recruiting boards. A good example is Trinity Christian (NC) center Damontre Harris. The 6'9" center has hit the circuit and his performance is showing that he can be a star at the next level, maybe even a NBA prospect.

The increased exposure has lead to a slew of offers. Auburn, Boston College, South Carolina, Maryland and Xavier were the first to offer. Connecticut has recently extended an offer. Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Clemson are close to offering.

According to Trinity coach Heath Vandervender, "Damontre is very athletic. He also has a wing-span of a seven-footer. That allows him to be a very good defender in the paint. He is a good shot blocker and has gotten much better rebounding in traffic."

Like a lot of big men, his offensive game is still a work in progress. According to Scout.com's Dave Telep, "Damontre is merely scratching the surface. He's a very instinctive player with a knack for blocking shots and using his length. Right now he's like a sponge. Most of the country knows very little about him and he's been able to get better while flying minimally detected under the radar. He's a guy that can play to mid-range and once he develops a go to move on offense to compliment his defense, to me he'll be one  of the breakout high-major prospects."

"Damontre will do best in a system where he can use his athletic ability to pop out to the outside and hit the mid-range jumper," According to Coach Vandervender. "He is never going to be a banger who uses post moves to create offense. He can handle the ball very well for a big man and he has a good outside shot. In the right system, the sky's the limit for him. He's a good kid. He listens and he is very coachable."

With the crush of interest from recruiters, the question everyone is asking is where Damontre will play his college ball. According to his coach, "I told Damontre and his mom to get through July and let the coaches see him. After that he needs to focus in on four or five schools he wants to consider."

With so many big-time offers and more on the way, it stands to reason that Damontre will gravitate to the high majors.

"Damontre is a level headed kid. He gets that from his mom," said Coach Vandervender. "Both of them are not letting any of the attention change them at all."

The plan for now is to continue to participate in the various showcase events and begin to think about the schools that are the most interest.

"Damontre is a local kid, a country guy," said Coach Vandervender. "The first question is just how far away from home he is willing to go for school. We're taking a trip up to South Carolina, which is only a couple of hours away from Fayettville. The three of us are also going to go up to Wake Forest, which is less than hour away. After July, then we'll see about other visits."

In addition to the local schools, Boston College is making a strong push for a visit.

"Coach Duquette and Coach Skinner have been talking to Damontre," said Vandervender. "I know they are pushing to have him come up for a visit in the fall. I have a lot of respect for Coach Skinner, everyone does. I know he is very interested, but I don't know if a visit will be something we do. Like I said, it is really a question of how far from home Damontre wants to go for college."

For now, the focus is on basketball. Harris plays for the Carolina Force (AAU) and will be participating in tournaments for the remainder of July. After that, he will sit down with his coach and mother to decide where to visit in August.

"I told Damontre and his mom that they need to take August to cut the list down to four or five schools. Honestly, the schools call so much it borders on harassment. He has to trim his list and just talk to those schools and then make an early decision. He needs to focus on his school come the fall and take care of business in the classroom and enjoy his senior year."


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