Bonding with Bluejays Leads Harrell to Commit

The Denver East product enjoyed his recent official visit and committed soon after returning home.

Ronnie Harrell's decision to commit to Creighton stemmed from a piece of advice he received.

"A lot of the guys I talked to, they just say ‘When you're on these visits or when you're going through this process, if you ever feel like at any time in your heart that this is the school for me, that you should just got ahead and do it," Harrell said. "That's how I felt."

Harrell visited Creighton last weekend and sensed a bond with the Creighton coaching staff and players. After talking up his skills on Madden, a popular NFL video game, to CU assistant Darian DeVries, he challenged his host and one of the better Madden players on the CU team, Jahenns Manigat, to a game. Maybe it was the way the Bluejay senior handled the 30-7 whooping the senior from Denver East handed him, regardless Harrell knew he was with good company in Omaha.

"Hanging out with the guys, my host was Jahenns; he's a great dude," Harrell said. "I hung out with the whole team Friday and Saturday night. They are all just people I think I would want to surround myself with for the next four years and contend for BIG EAST championships."

Harrell certainly brings some pieces to the table that can help the Bluejays contend in the BIG EAST. Standing 6-foot-6, Harrell has good size for a shooting guard or small forward, but he also believes he has the skill to play the point in college, if needed. Whichever position he plays, one certainty is Harrell's ability to shoot the rock.

"He's a great perimeter shooter," said his coach at Denver East, Rudy Carey. "Good ball handler, good passer, but he's a great shooter, unbelievable range."

Although he's got size and skill, his game and body are still far from finished products.

"He's got to get stronger and he's got to play defense more aggressively with passion all the time," Carey answered when asked where his three-year varsity player could improve. "He's a good defender when he wants to play defense, but he's got to play at that level all the time."

"I think the biggest thing for me right now is strength. I need to put on some weight, get stronger, because the BIG EAST is a physical conference. I want to be able to go there and make an impact immediately, and to do that I'm going to need to put on some weight and get stronger," Harrell added.

Harrell was surprised to see Nebraska wasn't entirely covered with farmland and cornfields. He enjoyed the Old Market and the city as a whole, part of which might help him add some much-needed pounds.

"They had some crazy food. I could eat all day out there, put on a lot of weight," Harrell joked.

Harrell picked the Bluejays over the likes of Purdue and Kansas State, citing a better connection with the Bluejays. With some time in the gym and weight room, the Bluejays could have landed a special player.

"He's good enough to be a pro if he puts the work in. If he doesn't, he'll be just another player," Carey said.
"He's a great kid and he's got a good work ethic. He will work," Carey went on to say.

If Harrell capitalizes on his potential and becomes a pro, as his coach believes is possible, he wouldn't be the first member of his family to take his game to the next level. Harrell is cousins with current Detroit Pistons point guard and NBA veteran Chauncey Billups. "Mr. Big Shot" served as Harrell's AAU coach with the aptly named Chauncey Billups Elite.

Harrell, a three-star prospect, may not have been as highly recruited as his cousin, but he is relieved to have the recruiting process behind him.

"At the beginning I enjoyed it, but just calling Coach McDermott and making that commitment felt like I just lifted a semi-truck off my chest," Harrell said. "I just feel good."

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