Is Ron Harper Jr. the Second Coming of his Father?

Ron Harper is an NBA player that doesn’t get enough recognition for his career, winning five NBA Championships with the Michael Jordan Bulls and the Kobe-Shaq Lakers, while averaging a career 13.8 points per game. Ron Harper was an excellent role player and really helped those teams win championships, and he was drafted with the eighth overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. The big question is, can the Ohio Flyers son have a career anything like his father?

Ron Harper Jr. is Senior for Rutgers and plays the Forward position. Standing at 6’6″ and 245 pounds, he has the genetics and frame to compare to an NBA player. Ron Harper Jr. was born in Paterson, New Jersey and attended Don Bosco Prep in high school and is now in his fourth year for the Scarlet Knights. In his four years, Ron Harper has been overlooked, but lately has gotten his name out there for the NBA draft. In the 2019-2020 season, Ron was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and was Second Team All-Met, while also leading his team to their first March Madness appearance in twenty-nine years. COVID-19 spoiled the tournament, not giving Rutgers a chance to compete in the tournament.

In the 2020-2021 season, the now thirty-year drought had ended, and Rutgers entered the tournament as a tenth-seeded team. That year Ron Harper Jr. was selected to the Third Team All-Big Ten, First Team All-Met, and an Academic All-Big Ten. Rutgers upset the seventh-seeded Clemson Tigers in a four point win, one where Ron Harper Jr. had scored ten points and snatched five rebounds on way to the first round victory. Unfortunately, Rutgers ran in to the two-seeded Houston in the Round of 32, losing a close one 63-60 where Ron Harper Jr. had six points, two assists and five rebounds. Ron Harper Jr. had entered the 2021 NBA draft, only to return to Rutgers for his senior season.

In his four seasons, Ron is averaging 11.8 points per game as well as 5.2 rebounds per game. This season Ron is averaging career highs across the board with 17 PPG, 2.3 APG, 9.7 RPG as well as four blocks and nine steals on the season. Ron’s biggest strengths are his scoring off the dribble, posting up smaller players, and his solid athleticism. Some cons for Ron are his free throws, ball handling, and his inconsistent shooting. The Scarlet Knights are 4-3 as of right now and face second-seeded Purdue on Thursday. Ron Harper could be a great role player in the NBA and is expected to be either a second-round pick or undrafted, but with a big close to his senior season, the twenty-one year old prospect should easily be on the board in the 2022 NBA Draft.

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