Giles Enjoying Final Events; Ready For Duke In November

PORTLAND -- Harry Giles won't dribble a basketball or a take a jump shot during any drill or competition for a little while longer, but the future Duke Blue Devil was still a major presence at the annual Nike Hoop Summit.

PORTLAND -- Harry Giles won't dribble a basketball or a take a jump shot during any drill or competition for a little while longer, but the future Duke Blue Devil was still a major presence at the annual Nike Hoop Summit.

Although the five-star big man has been out dealing with a torn ACL since having surgery in November, his infectious personality and positive attitude was a big addition to the camp. This year's Nike Hoop Summit was loaded with future NBA talent -- one NBA scout told TDD that he believes five to seven members of the American team will be All-Stars some day -- but many of the eyes in attendance gravitated towards Giles.
Whenever someone made a play, Giles was one of the first to chirp some form of praise. When someone went through a rough stretch, Giles was there to pick them up with a joke or a multi-step hand shake. Everyone in the building, from players, to USA staff, to media members was greeted with a warm smile, a bro hug and a "my guy!" Even though he was unable to play, Giles relished the chance to be around his peers at a USA Basketball event.
"Every USA experience is amazing. It's an honor to come out here and be around these amazing coaches," Giles said to TDD. "Just to be around everyone, build friendships. Guys in the NBA now, they started out here so they just tell us to work hard and you can make things happen. And USA is a good thing, so I give them a lot of credit."
There is a lot of downtime for Giles during the scrimmages, warmups and practices. During most practices and scrimmages, Giles is locked in on the sidelines, taking mental notes of what is unfolding. He's a student of the game. More often than not, Giles can be found picking the brain of one of the on-floor coaches or support staff. 
Sometimes, just to have some fun, he'll interact with USA Basketball media personnel, at one point attempting his hand at sideline photography while his teammates put up warm-up shots -- a laughing, 6-foot-10 sports photographer. No matter what he is doing during the event, the USA Basketball people and other parents are happy that he's present. Giles is just happy to be around his friends and peers after spending so many months rehabbing his knee away from it all.
"It's almost like the closing of my senior year. It's crazy," Giles said. "These four years went by so fast. For me, I played against Jayson [Tatum] and [De'Aaron] Fox growing up. Just seeing us grow up is a really good thing. Being here with my brothers for the last time, this is really it for us. We're just really out here enjoying each other's company.
"I've been back at home six or seven months not doing anything. I've been stuck at home watching them on TV all season. I'm not traveling or anything, I'm doing rehab. So it just feels good, it's refreshing."
The next step for Giles after taking in the Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic is to continue the rehab and recovery for his injury knee. Since hurting the knee during Oak Hill's season opener, Giles has been mostly focused on his recovery, doing some of his rehab at Duke to help get a feel for next season.
"I had surgery sometime in November so I started rehab like a week after surgery, so I've been at it every day ever since," Giles said. "It's been great. It's crazy, I'm not all the way there yet, but I'm getting more and more excited. You start seeing people, meeting people around campus. I'm around there and they say, "Hey Harry, we're so excited to have you," and just kind of getting ready.

It's kind of day-by-day. Whenever they feel like I'm ready to play, and the knee is right. But at the same time, it's me too, because I've been through it before. When they ask me and it feels good, I'll be ready. It's only April. The goal is to be ready by November, so I'm not rushing."
The big concern for Giles returning from his second knee injury will not just be how he fares physically, but also how he will mentally approach things. Now that he's had two major knee injuries before he turns 18, many question if Giles will approach the game differently. Giles doesn't seem too concerned about having the right frame of mind when he returns.
"I know me. I can't doubt myself. You can't go out there thinking about it," Giles said. "I can take some things that I took from last time like you just have to go out there and play. You just can't think about it. You have to control what you can control. That's the main thing with a knee injury."
Duke fans should be excited to know that Giles doesn't just plan on coming back 100 percent, but he's still looking to be the best player he can possibly be. Brimming with confidence despite missing his senior season, Giles is determind to play at a high level next season.
"If that's not your goal, you shouldn't be playing. That's everybody's goal. If you don't want to be the best, if you don't want to be the No. 1 pick, if you don't want to be the best of all time then you shouldn't be playing."

The Devils Den Top Stories