"It was cool playing in Wilson," said Harrow. "The first time I went there for the Elite 80 no one really knew who I was and this time everyone there knew me and my game. The State fans also came out and watched... it was a good experience.
"It was a lot better than the last time because there were more good players there. The first game was cool because Reggie [Bullock] and P.J. [Hairston] were on the other team."
The event's opener matched Harrow and Wolfpack target C.J. Leslie's team against Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston's squad. Bullock and Hairston have both committed to play college basketball for the University of North Carolina.
"We were talking about college right before the game," said Harrow. "We kept saying it was like the State-Carolina matchup. It was even better for me because I played a real good game, and we came away with the win.
"It made you see what you're going to be going against in a couple of years in college... we talked about how we would be seeing each other all the time in college. That was cool."
It was the first time Harrow had a chance to play with Leslie in an organized basketball game, and he left impressed with the chemistry they showed on the floor.
"C.J. definitely impressed me," said Harrow. "It made the game easier playing with him because you have to play both of us honest. You can't help out because we can score and pass. The big play for us was running the pick-and-roll. One of us is going to score everytime we run that play so the game was just a lot easier.
"Everybody watching said it looked like we had fun playing together. I know I did. We basically took turns scoring. It felt like we were doing fine out there."
Harrow nearly played his senior year with Leslie at Raleigh (NC) Word of God Christian Academy. His brother-in-law, Erasto Hatchett, was hired over the summer as the new head coach at Word of God and Harrow almost joined him. However, it was too tough to leave behind what he believes they are building at Marietta (GA) Walton High School.
"It was real tempting," said Harrow. "Playing under my brother, I knew he would look out for me. If it wasn't for the bond I have with coach Goydish and all the players who came to Walton to play with me I would have been gone.
"But with the guys we've added I want to help build Walton into a big-time program. I want people to say when I leave that Ryan Harrow came to Walton and helped change the basketball tradition."
"I still feel like I'm getting better," he added. "I have a tough workout that I'm going through, and I work with a personal trainer. I've been lifting weights, and I run miles with strength shoes and a weight vest. I'm trying to get bigger and even faster."
After the Elite 80 Showcase Harrow headed to Raleigh for an unofficial visit to NC State. He attended the Wolfpack's football game against Duke and spent some time with the basketball team and coaching staff.
"I always have fun at State," he stated. "I'm already close with all the players and the coaching staff so we're real tight. I see coach Lowe and coach Harris almost every week so it's like I'm already a part of the family."
Although he didn't join Hatchett at Word of God, just having him and his family in Raleigh will make the transition to NC State a lot smoother for Harrow in 2010.
"That's probably the best thing about it... my family being right around campus," he said. "They are going to be right there with me. I'm real close to my sister and love playing with my two nieces, and Erasto is like my brother... I've known him since I was three or four. I lived with them for three years before, and we're all real close.
"My mom is even talking about moving back to N.C. when I graduate from Walton so she can be around all of us. I've already been talking to Lorenzo about how when we get to State we'll be going over there and having a good time."
Like at Walton, Harrow believes something special is being built at NC State. The Wolfpack signed a strong class in 2009 and this year's group consists of three players generally considered top 50 prospects in Harrow, Chatham (VA) Hargrave guard Lorenzo Brown, and Red Springs (NC) Flora MacDonald forward Luke Cothron.
"It's a great class," said Harrow. "Just having Lorenzo coming in with me makes it better because we've been playing together so long and we compliment each other so well. Having Luke is going to make our team even better. The thing I like about Luke is he plays to win. Most big men aren't active, but he's active because he knows he can do something with the basketball when he gets it.
"I think coach Lowe feels like we are going to be really good. When he came for my in-home visit he said when we all get there it could be the first time he would be comfortable with sitting down and letting his players go out and play. He said he could do that because he knows he will have a bunch of guys that are talented but will also compete and play hard on every play.
"Look at the team we'll have with a bunch of high-major players," Harrow added. "You've got Richard [Howell], Deshawn [Painter], and Tracy [Smith] already there up front, and guys like C.J. [Williams] and Scott [Wood]. Then we'll have Julius [Mays] and Javy [Gonzalez] who have experience. When you add in our class I think it's going to be a really strong team."
NC State is still heavily pursuing Leslie and the versatile wing would be a huge pickup. Harrow is trying his best to get Leslie to join him in Raleigh.
"I text him almost every week," said Harrow. "He says he wants to play in college with me all the time, and he knows I want to play with him. I hope he comes and plays with us because he is a great player."
As his senior season approaches Harrow will put his recruitment on the backburner and focus on reaching some of his goals like winning a state title and making the McDonald's All-American Team. A recent article suggested he might not sign his letter of intent in the fall, but he was quick to dispel those rumors.
"I'm going to sign in the fall," he said. "There is no doubt about it... I'm going to sign in the fall. There have been some other schools who have asked me to come on a visit, but I'm loyal to coach Lowe. Everyone tells me that I made a really good decision in choosing to play for coach Lowe, and my family supports my decision. Coach Lowe is going to prepare me for the next level... I can't wait to play for him at NC State.
"Right now we're talking about setting my official visit. I was going to take it this weekend with Lorenzo for the first practice, but Lorenzo is going home from Hargrave to visit his family. Since we're taking our official together we'll schedule it for later... it will probably be for one of the basketball games."
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