Harrellson Off To Strong Start At SWIC

A year ago at this time, Josh Harrellson was signed with and ready to go to Western Illinois to become a Leatherneck and play for coach Derek Thomas.

But at some point during his senior year at St. Charles (Mo.) High School, Harrellson decided he did not want to attend Western and instead headed off to junior college.

Now a freshman at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, Ill., Harrellson is hoping to get his release from his letter-of-intent to Western Illinois and again work toward playing Division I basketball somewhere as soon as possible.

"I'm waiting to receive a letter back from the (WIU) president," Harrellson said, "because we wrote a letter to him asking for my release."

The 6-foot-9, 270-pound center averaged 18.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game as a high school senior and earned St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro second-team accolades for his performance.

Harrellson impressed his new college coach before the season even started.

"Harrellson is going to be really good," Harrington said in late September.

Harrington knows there aren't many players around with Harrellson's combination of size, strength and all-around skills.

"Harrellson is 6-9, 274 and he's mobile," Harrington said. "That's what makes him scary. He is mobile at that size and he can shoot 3's at that size and he can block shots at that size."

The freshman is off to a strong start to his season. He scored 20 points in a 67-57 win over St. Louis Community College-Meramec in the season opener and then scored 14 points in an 86-83 win at Mineral Area College.

The SWIC freshmen said he could sign with a school in the spring signing period, if he's released from his letter-of-intent, or he might have to spend a second year at Southwestern Illinois before going to a Division I school.

"I haven't really talked to any schools because they aren't able to call me while I'm still under (the terms of the letter-of-intent)," Harrellson said. "… I don't know what I have for options."

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