By JACK LeGWINSpecial to ZAGSBLOGSUWANEE, Ga. — Playing in front of a packed Court 5 at the Nike Memorial Invitational here, Harry Giles put on a show.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound freshman out of High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian Academy scored 22 points, highlighted by a spectacular put-back dunk, to help the CP3 All-Stars 16U team take down NJ Playaz Basketball Club 16U on Saturday afternoon.
Although Giles is a player who many consider No. 1 in the country in the class of 2016, he doesn’t feel the pressure of living up to the hype.
“I just play the game, I play for fun,” Giles told SNY.tv. “I don’t really look at the rankings. I try to go out and play like I have something to prove every night.”
Giles currently holds offers from Kentucky, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Ohio State and South Carolina.
He has even gotten a chance to play with Team USA, as well as getting invited to the Adidas Nations Camp.
“It’s really fun, it’s a great experience,” he said. “Its great to build relationships with great players, we’re just out there having fun, getting great coaching and you definitely get better playing against guys like that.”
When asked if he believed if Giles was indeed the top-ranked player in the country, CP3 All-Stars 16U coach Art Wade not only agreed, but he had a specific reason for his answer.
“Harry impacts the game so much, and it’s not just with his points, or his rebounds or his blocked shots,” said Wade. “It’s with his communication, the deflections and it’s the assists. Its all of those things make him what he is, and I look forward to seeing what he’s going to become later. “
One thing is certain with Giles. He will only continue to impress if he keeps up this pace.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.