Harden's stock on the rise

Artesia (Lakewood, Ca.) SG James Harden has steadily become one of the most popular players on the west coast this spring and he's garnering attention from several schools in the Pac 10 and sports five offers from the member schools. Dawgman.com was able to get in touch with the talented playmaker he gave us an update about his summer plans and how recruiting is shaping up.

"Things have been going good," Harden said. "I was supposed to go up to a tournament in Portland (the Rose City Classic) with my AAU team next week, but I have finals so I'm not going to be able to go.

"This summer I want to go to the ABCD camp and either Big time or the Main Event and then I'm going to play in the End of the Summer Classic tournament."

So why has Harden's recruitment taken off so much recently? According to Harden it's his hard work and versatility.

"I can guard anybody on the floor and can play any position on the floor," Harden (6-5, 200) said matter-of-factly. "I won't let the man I'm guarding score. I love defense.

"It's just hard work every day. I wake up at 5:30 in the morning every day and go to my school and shoot. After practice I shoot and then just working hard and lifting weights."

On the recruiting front, Harden's stock has skyrocketed to the point that he now sports offers from half of the Pac 10 – Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State and USC.

The Sun Devils recently hired his high school coach and Harden said while that's a plus, that won't decide where he goes.

"It has an input on it, but it's where I want to go," Harden said. "I mean, him going there that's a good thing and I might go there with him, but it's still my decision and he knows that."

Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar has been recruiting Harden for the Dawgs and recently the two spoke on the phone for more than an hour.

"He's just a very cool guy and nice to talk to," Harden said. "We talked about everything – school, basketball, girls – everything."

A fellow recruit has also been recruiting Harden for the Huskies – Washington commit Isaiah Thomas.

"We text message each other every day," Harden says with a laugh. "Obviously he wants me to come (to Washington) too, but we mostly talk about what camps and tournaments we're going to be in and stuff like that."

Harden said he plans to visit Arizona State, Arizona, Washington and Washington State unofficially this summer and plans to take some official visits before he makes a decision.

James Harden Scout Profile

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