DENVER -- Many were surprised that Michigan State shooting guard Gary Harris was still on the board when the Nuggets were picking at No. 19. Experts called him the “steal of the draft.” The 19-year-old is a solid defender and shooter, and he’s from a basketball background.
Gary Harris held up his new Nuggets jersey at Pepsi Center. He arrived in Denver Friday morning after waiting to hear his name called at the NBA draft in New York on Thursday night.
Harris said, “It was a sigh of relief, I knew my name was going to be called just didn’t know when. To finally hear my name called and be able to walk across the stage with my family there, it’s a feeling I’ll never forget.”
Basketball runs in the Harris family. His Mom, Joy Holmes Harris, played in the WNBA.
“I’ve always been around it because of her, always going to her practices and games,” Harris said. “She never told me I had to play basketball, she was supportive of whatever I wanted to do.”
Their basketball bond included some 1-on-1 battles, but he never beat his Mom in hoops.
“It’s funny you asked that, I never beat her because she stopped playing me once I got close to beating her, so she was smart about it.”
Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw first met Harris when he was in high school in Indiana and Shaw was with the Pacers. Harris spoke to Shaw’s son’s basketball team and he made a great impression.
“From that moment, I followed his progress and his career, at that time he hadn’t committed to Michigan State, but I had a watchful eye over him.” said Shaw.
“We met then but nobody knew he’d end up being my NBA coach to have that is cool,” added Harris.
Harris looks forward to a bright future with the Nuggets.
“It’s a great situation to be able to come here with a good team that’s looking forward to winning a lot of games next season. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
While Harris slid on draft day, he believes he’s landed in the perfect place.