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July 22, 2011

Harrison out to prove national worth

As the AAU Super Showcase prepares to tip off this weekend in Orlando, Fla., Aaron Harrison has one thing on his mind. It's the same thing he always has on his mind.

"I'm trying to prove that I'm the best," Harrison said.

With size that's tough to defend, a solid all-around game and a confident swagger to match, Harrison is a guard that many college scouts have been courting since the beginning of his freshman. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound shooting guard been one of the most consistent players on the Texas summer circuit, and he's convinced that his best days are still ahead of him.

As Harrison prepares for his upcoming junior season, he is playing every game -- whether it's a regular-season game with Fort Bend Travis High School or a summer-select game with the Houston Defenders Select -- as if he has a chip on his shoulder. Playing without a purpose is unacceptable.

Aaron and his twin brother, point guard Andrew Harrison, are five-star 2013 guards who lead the Defenders, a team that is expected to fare well at the Super Showcase, which starts Saturday and runs through Wednesday. Both are top-10 national players in their class, according to Rivals.com. Andrew is ranked No. 1; Aaron is ranked No. 9.

"The people in front of me, I feel like they shouldn't be there," Aaron said. "I'm happy for my brother, but I shouldn't be ranked No. 9. I think I should be ranked No. 2."

The Defenders, coached by Aaron Harrison Sr., are considered by many to be the top summer select team in Texas and one of the 10 best nationwide. The team recently won the Open Division of the 23rd annual Great American Shoot-Out, a tournament with more than 300 teams competing in front of 400 coaches. Aaron had 11 points in the championship game against Dallas Showtyme Elite.

All eyes at the GASO -- and practically at every other tournament the Defenders play in -- seemed to be on Aaron and the rest of the team's high-major prospects. In addition to playing with his brother, Aaron plays alongside 6-foot-9 powerhouse Shaquille Cleare, 6-foot-3 sharpshooter Christian Sanders and 6-foot-7 Derrick Griffin, arguably the most electrifying athlete of the entire GASO tournament.

"It's been exciting, a lot of fun," Aaron said. "Everybody wants to play you. They know you wherever you go. It's almost like you're famous."

Aaron added: "I'll have an off night, and I know that we'll still have a chance to win. I love playing with these guys. Off the court, we're the best of friends."

While Andrew is responsible for setting up plays and has built a reputation for making no-look passes come easy, Aaron works better off the dribble and has an ability to knock down jumpers from deep. He also is a much-improved defender from last year. There's a reason why schools such as Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor, Texas, UCLA and Memphis have already offered.

The winning school, however, better have two scholarships. Aaron has expressed his desire to play college ball with his brother.

"We're a package deal," Aaron said. "I've spent my whole life with my brother. I want to stay with him for as long as I can. We play well together on the court, and coaches like that."

Aaron's is hoping this weekend will end with an AAU championship. Most importantly, he wants to end July as the elite player everybody else chases.

As for chasing No. 1 ...

"I'm not worried about that. That's my brother, and he deserves to be No. 1," Aaron said. "I'm just trying to go out, work hard and play great every time."



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