Gary Harris Shows Skills At Illini Team Camp

Each year, the Illinois basketball team camp gives Illini fans a chance to observe top high school athletes performing on campus. Hamilton Southeastern's Gary Harris played with his team both last year and this, and his game has improved markedly. Now a top prospect nationally, Harris talks about his development and college interests.

Illinois has been recruiting Gary Harris for a long time already. The 2012 combo guard was mostly an outside shooter for Hamilton Southeastern last summer, but he has grown physically and matured to the point he is becoming a top point guard as well as shooting guard.

His improvement in a year has boosted him to national prominence.

"I like it a lot. I don't want it to go to my head. I just want to keep doing what I've been doing every day, just keep improving on that."

Always a skilled marksman, Harris has added an inside game recently. A receiver on his football team, Harris credits football in part for his maturation.

"Oh man, it helps me with my contact. I play more physical. I'm used to that kind of contact every day playing football. I've gotten stronger, so I can take on more contact now and try to finish."

The 6'-4" guard now has a long list of suitors.

"I'm hearing from all the Big 10 schools. I'm (also) looking at Xavier, Washington, Vanderbilt, and Florida. Those are the schools I'm concentrating on."

His mother played basketball at Purdue. Is she pushing him toward her alma mater?

"No, she's just saying what I prefer she prefers. So whatever is best for me."

Harris has been on the Illinois campus for a couple Illini games plus two team camps now. But the UI may be facing stiff competition from a Cincinnati school.

"Xavier was the first school to recruit me. They've always been there, and they've continued to recruit me."

At least, he isn't limiting himself to his state's schools.

"I've never just decided I want to stay in the state of Indiana. I'm definitely gonna look at all options."

While the 2012 class in Illinois is weak, it is loaded in Indiana. Harris enjoys the competition.

"It's fun. Whenever we play we try to go after each other. That's what makes it so good. We all push each other. We're always trying to prove each other wrong and try to be the best player on the court."

Harris is in no hurry to finalize his college decision. But he may begin to narrow things down soon.

"At the end of summer, I'm going to get together with my parents and try to trim the list down a little bit. But decision-wise, no way. I'm probably gonna wait. When I find the right spot I'll make the decision."

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