Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reality Can Be Harsh for NBA Prospects

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reality Can Be Harsh for NBA Prospects

Article excerpt

DALLAS - Coming out of high school, he was ranked next to Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle as the best in the nation, and yet above Aaron Harrison's locker is not his name, but rather the two words "DALLAS MAVERICKS."

The locker for the Mavericks guard is Harrison's to be used, but it's not his. Not yet.

Harrison isn't complaining, and he is not a cliche cautionary tale, but he is another side of the annual draft process that begins now.

He is the McDonald's All-American who went to Kentucky, came out early only to be undrafted and now is another anonymous face begging to get into the NBA via the G-League and the hope of a 10-day contract.

"You have those thoughts [about staying in college], but there is nothing you can do about it," Harrison said after the Mavericks' season-ending loss to the Phoenix Suns. "I'm not a big 'what if?' guy. You just have to go along with what happens and take what happens and react to that and nothing else. I can't really go back in time and say [I should have stayed]."

On Tuesday night, all of the NBA celebrated the arrival of Andre Ingram to the Los Angeles Lakers, whose story is inspiring to us all, and a warning to guys like Harrison and the other new flock of guys who can't wait to leave college to play pro basketball.

Guys such as Harrison. Because at one point, Andre Ingram was Aaron Harrison.

Harrison, a native of Fort Bend, Texas, whose twin brother, Andrew, plays with Memphis, signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks on March 22. Aaron Harrison spent most of the past three years in the G-League.

A few hours after Harrison joined the likes of Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki and 12 other Mavericks to ever play all 48 minutes of a regulation game, Ingram went viral complete with an extended interview on TNT with Chuck, Kenny, Shaq and Ernie Johnson.

Ingram was a four-year college player at American who chased the dream in the NBA's minor leagues for 10 years before the Lakers signed him to a 10-day contract for the final two games of the season. On Tuesday night, he became the oldest NBA rookie to ever play at 32.

He scored 19 points against the Houston Rockets, and is the best story of the entire NBA season. …

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