When Harry Giles suits up for his first NBA game this fall, he will be entering new territory, but he won’t be without support.
The 6-foot-10 former Duke player received immediate praise and congratulations from friend and NBA star Chris Paul after he was selected 20th overall in the 2017 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. Giles has spent the last several summers playing with a local team of Paul’s, and the tweet suggests that Paul will be continuing to follow Giles as he matures and develops at the professional level.
Almost came to tears seeing @HGizzle1 be drafted!! We have a real FAMILY when it comes to AAU bball…Love our kids more than ANYTHING!!!
— Chris Paul (@CP3) June 23, 2017
Giles career over the last several years has been defined by a series of serious injuries, including two ACL tears in high school, which limited his playing time as a freshman at Duke and made him a surprise pick for the Kings.
His college coach, however, never doubted his ability to fit in with an NBA team.
“With his uplifting personality and love for the game, Harry Giles has been a joy to coach,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “He is only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be on the basketball court. Harry has an exciting NBA future ahead of him and we are here to fully support him as a member of our brotherhood.”
Experts, on the other hand, still questioned his ability to enter the NBA given his injuries and some even considered him a “draft-night risk.” Giles hasn’t reached his full potential since his injuries, but the Kings’ selection shows that his new team has faith that he still can.
In just a few months, Giles will once again have the chance to prove himself and play with (and against) the “big homies” this season.
And Paul will be cheering him along.
“Harry is so selfless,” Paul said in 2015 . “Being the star that he is, he’s very selfless. The man has such a personality that, no matter where he plays, he’s going to shine.”
— Harry Giles III (@HGizzle1) August 6, 2015
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• Troubling new report about Phil Jackson, Knicks
• The mocking draft: Ranking picks by quirks
• Knicks owner to spend draft … playing the blues