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HSE's Gary Harris Named Indiana's Mr. Basketball
April 13, 2012By Rich Torres of VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
The debate began long before the final votes were tallied.
Who will be this year’s Indiana Mr. Basketball?
Will it be Hamilton Southeastern’s Gary Harris? How about Park Tudor and Indiana recruit Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell? Why not Kellen Dunham of Pendleton Heights?
From the high school basketball season’s opening tip, online forums, message boards and even social media circles spotlighted the topic. Discussed, analyzed, scrutinized and campaigned until the bitter end.
This week, “the debate” surrounding Mr. Basketball reached its much-anticipated conclusion. And "the decision" was a just as close as many envisioned.
Not since 2005 has the race for Indiana’s best been this narrow with more than a handful of players more than deserving.
Behind 154 votes received from basketball coaches and media members from around the state, Harris was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball for 2011-12.
Ferrell, a two-time Class 2A state champion and a McDonald’s All American, was second with 103 votes. Dunham, a Butler recruit, was third with 34 votes. Lake Central's Glenn Robinson III was fourth with 11 votes.
"Looking at all the names through the years and the players in this class, it's a huge honor," Harris said in an article published in the Indianapolis Star. "I think there's a lot of responsibility that goes with it. I don't want to just be Mr. Basketball and nothing else. I want to keep working and accomplish more."
Harris averaged 25.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 3.9 assists as a senior. The HSE Royals were ranked No. 1 in Class 4A and in the Top 20 poll nearly the entire year and finished with a 22-3 record after succumbing to eventual state champion Carmel in sectional.
An athletic guard with a smooth jumper, superb defensive skills and the ability to create off the dribble, Harris, a 6-foot-4, Michigan State recruit, was named a McDonald’s All American. He played for the East Team at the United Center in Chicago.
He is a lock to be an Indiana All-Star and recently competed in the Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. This Saturday, he takes his talents to the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte. His title of Indiana Mr. Basketball was revealed to the public while he was competing in Portland.
Harris committed to Michigan State last November shortly before the end of the early signing period after weighing offers from Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky and the Spartans.
Kentucky made a late push to recruit the Fishers native while many speculated he might pick Purdue. His mother and father, Joy and Gary Harris Sr. are both alums.
Indiana was another big time player during his recruitment after receiving commitments from Ferrell, Lawrence Central’s Jeremy Hollowell and several other top prospects from the Hoosier State.
Harris also was a standout football player in high school and received several Division I offers but decided to focus his attentions on basketball at the collegiate level, ending his football recruitment last summer.