In a matter of weeks -- or so it seemed -- Fort Bend Dulles High School's D'Angelo Harrison went from just another good shooter into one of the nation's most sought-after basketball players. His play over the summer with the Franchize All-Stars AAU team surely didn't hurt that.
After dazzling fans and making recruiters salivate with multiple 30- and 40-point games, Harrison became one of the nation's highly touted recruits. Thursday afternoon, the four-star recruit ended his recruiting process by announcing his verbal pledge to St. John's and head coach Steve Lavin during a nationally televised interview.
"I just think it was the best fit for me," Harrison said, wearing a black button-down shirt, a tie and an "I Love New York" ball cap in the interview. "I went up there and talked with Coach Lavin. I had a fun experience."
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Harrison is ranked No. 3 in the state according to TexasHoops.com and No. 41 nationally by Rivals.com. He will join fellow national recruits in four-star forwards Jakarr Sampson and Maurice Harkless at St. John's next year.
Harrison, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound scoring machine at the shooting guard position, chose the Red Storm over Oklahoma State, Baylor and Marquette. As a junior at Dulles, Harrison averaged roughly 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and 2.5 steals and was named the UIL District 23-5A MVP.
Harrison described his recruiting process as "crazy" but also showed that distance didn't factor into his decision. He decided to continue his career after Dulles at the school the farthest away from his home. Both Baylor and Oklahoma State were car rides away from his home.
"Location really doesn't matter," Harrison said. "I wanted to go somewhere where I can be one of the top guys on the team."
Harrison's stock began its stellar rise in April, when he shined for Franchize at the Verizon Real Deal in the Rock in Little Rock, Ark. He led the team to a second-place finish in the tournament but scored 48 points in the championship game against the Dallas Mustangs, a team with six confirmed college commitments and at least three more commitments expected.
For the tournament, Harrison scored at least 20 points in seven of the eight games played. In addition to the 48 against the Mustangs, he had 41 in a semifinal win and 34 in a quarterfinal win.
Harrison will be expected to drop buckets for a St. John's team that will try to improve from a 17-16 record last season. The Red Storm fell to Memphis on a last-second basket in the first round of the NIT in March.
In addition to the schools in his final list, Harrison also received offers from Arizona State, Alabama, Virginia, UTEP, SMU and Arkansas. Schools such as Kansas and Louisville also courted him. All verbal commitments are nonbinding. The first day a Class of 2011 basketball recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Nov. 10.