By Jamie Thomas
Basketball in the state of Georgia right now is booming, with one of the best young talents in the NBA having recently graduated from college there, and the Trae-Young-inspired Atlanta Hawks reaching the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.
A Georgia native and University of Georgia graduate, Jordan Harris knows about his home state’s booming stock in this game better than most, and he’s excited to bring his home brand of basketball to Glasgow as one of the Rocks’ latest signings.
“I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Glasgow, Scotland, the UK and the British Basketball community, so I’m looking forward to getting to work and getting out on the floor with this club.
“I had a couple of offers from a lot of different places. I had a couple of NBA workouts scheduled, then turned my attention to Europe and the opportunities there for me, and Glasgow stood out to me because I know Christian Keeling, who played on the team last year, and he had only good things to say about his experience here.
“Christian did a great job last year, so I know I’ve got big shoes to fill, but the situation and the team seemed a great fit for me. I did my research and learned as much as I could about the city and the league and I think this’ll be a very easy transition for me and I’m excited to show what I can do.”
“We’ve got to be ambitious and believe in what we can do.”
Last season was a difficult one for the Rocks as they finished at the foot of the BBL standings, and what is striking about our conversation with Harris is his confidence and determination to ensure that doesn’t happen again.
The 23-year-old is firmly of the belief that he and his new teammates have the potential to deliver a season for the Rocks more akin to the 2019/20 campaign – where Glasgow were top of the tree before the season was cut short due to the pandemic – than last year’s showing.
“I’m going in with the mindset to win games and I’ll do anything I can to help the team achieve that. I know we finished at the bottom of the league last year, but I really believe my teammates and I can come in and have a big impact to get this club back to where it should be at the top of the ladder.
“The middle of the table would be a good start, we don’t want to be at the bottom again, but I only want to win and if we win then we’re going to be at the top so we’ve got to be ambitious and believe in what we can do. We want to give everybody in Scotland a reason to walk around smiling.
“Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. We want to give our fans every reason to be proud of this team and what we’re doing on the court, and I’m ready to play my part in helping make that happen.”
“I look forward to doing my bit to bring showtime basketball to Glasgow.”
Having played alongside somebody he describes as a generational talent in his college days, in the form of Minnesota Timberwolf Anthony Edwards, Harris has certainly seen and played alongside some of the very best the game has to offer.
Whilst many will have scoured the internet and seen highlights of Harris and his former teammate in their college days together, the dynamic wing is looking forward to providing numerous highlights of his own as he detailed what he’ll be bringing to the Emirates Arena this term.
“They can expect some highlights! I love making big plays and I’m a highlight-reel kind of guy. I wouldn’t say I have tonnes of experience, but I’ve been around a lot of great players and people that’ve taught me a lot and I’m confident I can bring a lot to the team in terms of my mindset, the way I carry myself, and my commitment to wanting to win.
“The only way I know how to play is high energy. I don’t know how to play chilled or calm, everything I do has to be exciting and that’s what I prepare for and work on. Basketball should be exciting, nobody wants it to be boring, and we’re ready to bring the excitement this year.
“We’ve got a lot of exciting guys on the team, we’ve got a great chance to be really good if we can bring it all together, and I definitely look forward to doing my bit to bring showtime basketball to Glasgow.”
“I’m just thankful and blessed to be part of a league that is on its way up.”
Going into his second year as Head Coach, Gareth Murray has moved quickly to assemble a very exciting roster and Harris detailed how quickly the relationship between he and his coach has developed, as well as what it means to him to join the BBL and the prospect of playing in front of fans again.
“Coach is very cool, very relatable, and I feel like we already have a very good understanding of what needs to be done and what we want from each other. He’s expecting me to do a lot for the team, he wants me to make big plays on both ends of the floor and that’s what I want to deliver, and whatever he asks of me, I’m going to do it to help make this team a success.
“We have so much talent to offer with a great coach and a great programme, so we have all we need and we just need to bring it all together on the court to achieve our success. I’m just thankful and blessed to be part of a league that is on its way up.
“I haven’t played in a competitive game or in front of fans for so long, so I’m extremely excited and I’m sure all of the fans are excited to come back. I’m a cool, calm guy, but it will be emotional to play in front of fans again and represent the organisation and Glasgow.”