East Xtra: Gateway's Harris decides to enroll in prep school

BASKETBALL

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Former Gateway High School basketball standout Barnett Harris will not be playing Division I college basketball this year.

From listening to those around him, though, it seems inevitable that he will reach that stage at some point.

Harris, a 6-foot-9 power forward, will be attending Fishburne Military School, located in Waynesboro, Va., this year. Harris was recruited by several Division I schools, including Penn State, Kent State and Duquesne, but will be attending the one-year postgraduate basketball program.

Harris will then choose a college after that season, according to his father's Facebook page.

Gateway coach Mitch Adams said he believes Fishburne and coach Ed Huckaby Jr. are getting a steal.

"Not too many talented players like him who are also so tall," Adams said. "And he runs like a dang deer."

"He was one of the most vocal defensive leaders and a big reason why we were so successful."

Harris averaged 12 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the WPIAL champions, while also chipping in 2.2 blocks and 1.8 steals per game.

"He's done what I asked him to do for four years," Adams said. "I'm very, very glad for the kid."

Harris was not available to comment on how he ended up at Fishburne, but Huckaby Jr. said the process started late and fell into place.

Harris was in Virginia last week for a basketball clinic with Fishburne coaches and players.

"I thought my riding him around was over after his AAU career ended," Barnett Harris Sr. said jokingly on his Facebook page.

Fishburne Military School is about a five-hour drive from Pittsburgh.

Huckaby Jr. said in the past three years he has had 39 of his players sign with Division I college teams, many of those players were once in the same situation as Harris.

"We see that all the time," he said.

He added that he expected Harris to do the same.

One major difference Huckaby Jr. said Harris would see between his time at high school and Fishburne is the talent.

"Barnett is going to be playing with 12 other Division I type players," he said. "In high school, I'm sure he didn't have another 6-9 guy defending him. Now he will."

Huckaby Jr. said Harris will also have to improve in several aspects.

"He's very coachable, He needs to improve on his fundamentals. I don't think he was challenged to be fundamentally sound in high school," he said.

That being said, Huckaby Jr. did say Harris had many qualities that made him a great person and athlete.

"He's intelligent, talented and skilled. At 6-9, he's really got a skill set."

I think he's going to be fine," Huckaby Jr. said. "He's going to represent the area well."

hsbasketball

Brandon Boyd: bboyd@post-gazette.com, (412)-263-1724. Twitter: @brandonmboyd.


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