Meet 2010 Basketball Recruit K.T. Harrell
Note: Throughout the week, you will find a mini-feature on Virginia’s four men’s basketball commitments. There will be a story in The Washington Post next week combining each recruit.
Harrell recently needed to find a baby picture, so the Harrell family went searching for a photo of him as a child. They found one that father Rodney Harrell viewed as a sign: K.T. in a University of Virginia hat.
For a deeply religious family -- K.T. said both he and Virginia Coach Tony Bennett "love the lord" -- the photo was telling. It was a sign that the Harrell, a 6 feet 4 guard from Alabama, made the right decision committing to Virginia this summer, that it was meant to be.
Harrell chose the Cavaliers without setting foot on the U-Va. campus. Rodney said the family did not need to be wooed by facilities or the show presented when an athlete visits. Instead, they were searching for a connection.
"It takes a lot to entrust someone to watch over my son," Rodney said. "Tony was just our guy. If you want to get to next level, [KT.] can go anywhere. ... It's going to be about a relationship. [Bennett] wants to get some high-character kids with great basketball ability."
Rodney said this summer that the connection was instant. By speaking over the telephone for hours, he felt like he already knows Bennett. Rodney played junior college basketball with former NBA star Larry Johnson at Odessa College. Bennett played with Johnson in the NBA.
Rodney and his wife are both from Virginia, although they met while he was stationed in Germany with the Air Force and she with the Army. But Rodney understood the importance of ACC basketball while growing up in the region and K.T. always dreamed of playing in the ACC.
K.T. committed just as his stock was sharply rising on the summer basketball circuit. He did not play last winter because he needed to sit out after transferring from Jefferson Davis High to Brewbaker Tech Magnet High in Montgomery, Ala. He quickly ascended through the top 100 rankings during the summer and now is seen as one of the top guards in the nation. A standout athlete, Harrell is a good defender who can score a handful of ways on offense.
He considered Southeastern Conference schools such as Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas, among others. In the end, he committed to Bennett more than he did Virginia.
"It was just about relationships," K.T. said. “Out of all the coaches, he did the best job with forming the relationship with me, trying to learn what I'm about and my relationship with God."
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