Sports

Fil-Am Ron Harper Jr. enters NBA Draft


FILE — Ron Harper Jr. #24 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights drives to the basket in the game against the Houston Cougars during the first half in the NCAA Basketball Tournament second round at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American guard Ron Harper Jr. has declared for the 2021 NBA Draft.

As a junior, Harper Jr. helped No. 10 Rutgers University advance to the 2021 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 where the Scarlet Knights nearly pulled off the upset over second seed and eventual semifinalist Houston.

“These past there years have been nothing short of blessing. Coach Pikiell and his staff took a chance on a kid from Jersey where not many other people would and for that I am extremely grateful,” he posted on Instagram recently.

“The success I’ve had wouldn’t be possible without the people around me. My family, coaches, and teammates push me to become the best version of myself everyday on and off the court. I couldn’t thank them enough for shaping me into the main I am today”

“With that being said, I will be entering my name into the 2021 NBA Draft while maintaining my eligibility. This has been a life long dream of mine that Rutgers University has put me in the position to chase. Thank you Rutgers Nation for your support. Go RU.”

The 6-foot-6 Harper Jr. kept his eligibility after deciding to enter the draft without hiring an agent. He reportedly has until July 19, 10 days before the draft, to either withdraw or push through with the proceedings.

A versatile player, Harper Jr. has shown he has the tools and size to play in the NBA.

He is the son of NBA legend Ron Harper Sr., who won three titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 90s and two more as part of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000 and 2001.

His mother Maria is Filipino and a former college player for University of New Orleans before becoming a coach.

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