Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kansas, Duke, Indiana & Rutgers eye Dylan Harper at USA Basketball
By MATT WHITFIELDCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Coaches from Duke, Kansas, Indiana and Rutgers all sat courtside on a rainy Sunday evening in Colorado Springs.
The coaches were vying for the most coveted basketball player in the Class of 2024, Don Bosco Prep and NY Rens guard Dylan Harper. The 6-foot-4 Harper, ranked the No. 1 combo guard in his class by 247Sports.com, is down to a final five of Duke, Kansas, Rutgers, Auburn and Indiana.
“Seeing them on the sideline really shows their commitment towards me,” Harper said Sunday night before he was officially named a finalist for the USA Basketball U19 team.
Thirteen years ago, another very special New Jersey guard in Kyrie Irving chose Duke over Seton Hall and many others. Harper realizes, however, the chance to play at home would be very special.
“It would a great opportunity,” said Harper, who attended three Rutgers games this past season. “Everyone grows up wanting to be the hometown hero, so it would be a special opportunity.”
Dylan’s older brother Ron Jr was a standout at Rutgers, helping lead the Scarlet Knights to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 30 years in 2021. But Ron Jr. is staying neutral in Dylan’s recruitment.
“Nah, not really,” Dylan said of whether his brother has a pitch. “He just told me wherever I go, it is my decision and he is going to support me either way,.”
Rutgers does have an ace up their sleeve, though.
“Probably every day [Ace Bailey tries recruiting me to Rutgers],” said Harper. “We are all in a group chat, me, him and a bunch of other players. We talk daily to see how were doing and he always sneaks that in somehow.”
“I say ‘Fab Five,’ ‘When are you committing to Rutgers?’ stuff like that,” the 6-8 Bailey, a Rutgers commit in the Class of 2024, told NJ Advance Media last week by phone from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga.
“But he already know, every time I come around, I crack a joke or two about it,” Bailey added. “We mostly don’t talk about basketball, we talk about life, period.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.