Darian Harris and his father were watching Arkansas' College World Series game on television Monday night when the conversation turned to a trip to Omaha the previous weekend.
Harris, from Springdale, Ark., had participated in a basketball camp at Creighton. He told his father he really liked the school and was thinking about committing. His father told Harris that the family could visit Omaha this weekend so the parents could check out the school.
“I was going upstairs to bed, came back down and said, ‘I'm committing tomorrow,' ” Harris said. “I told him it just felt right and that I really wanted to call Coach Mac and tell him I wanted to accept the offer.
“My parents have always supported me, and my dad said they would support my decision. But he still wants to make the trip up there.”
Harris did call Creighton coach Greg McDermott on Tuesday to become the second player in the Bluejays' 2013 recruiting class. Harris' commitment came a day after 6-foot-10 Toby Hegner of Berlin (Wis.) High School accepted a scholarship offer.
Harris is a 6-6 guard-forward from Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Ark. He averaged about 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists a game as a junior last season.
“He's a special player, the best player we've ever had at this school,” Shiloh Christian coach Brent Hester said. “He can score a lot of different ways, and he's very good at creating shots for his teammates.
“He's long and lanky — I'd say he has a wingspan of 6-8 or more — and that helps him on defense. He's like a lot of kids — he can be an excellent defender when he wants to be. His length gives a lot of people trouble, and it allows him to take chances.”
Hegner and Harris played on the same team at Creighton's camp last weekend, and the two exchanged text messages and calls Monday after Hegner committed.
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“He told me he was going to Creighton, and told me I needed to become a Bluejay, too,” Harris said. “At the time, I kind of knew I was going to commit, but I didn't want to say anything.
“After I committed, he called and said, ‘Welcome to the Bluejay family.' I think we're both excited to have a chance to play in front of 17,000 fans, the best fans in the country. We can't wait.”
Like a lot of young players, Harris said he needs to get stronger to prepare himself to play at the collegiate level. His coach agreed, to a point.
“He certainly needs to learn to be more physical,” Hester said. “But he's got what I call functional strength. Take a guy like Kevin Durant. I'm not saying Darian is another Kevin Durant, but Durant is a guy that does pretty well in the NBA without being able to pass a bench-press test.
“Darian is the same way. He will need to create mass, but he's fairly strong for his size.”
Harris said he had received 15 scholarship offers. Nebraska, Oklahoma, San Francisco and Tulsa were among schools that had offered him, Harris said.
But his weekend experience in Omaha left no doubt in his mind where he wanted to attend school.
“I liked everything about Creighton,” he said. “The facilities, the players, the coaches, the fact I would be playing in front of 17,000 fans.
“When I got home from camp, I prayed a lot about the decision. In the end, I just knew this was the school for me.”
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