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Gary Harris: G-Money’s Got It Going On In The NBA

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Gary Harris is an NBA shooting guard who currently plays for the Orlando Magic. Nicknamed “G-Money”, Gary Harris played the first seven years of his career with the Denver Nuggets and grew as a valuable player there. In this post, we will find out more about Gary Harris. Let’s get started.

Gary Harris: All You Need To Know

When was Gary Harris born?

Gary Harris was born on September 14, 1994, in Fishers, Indiana. His mother Joy Holmes-Harris is one of the greatest women’s college basketball players of Purdue University. She also went on to play in the WNBA for the Detroit Shock.

How did Gary Harris start playing basketball?

Gary Harris started learning basketball in the backyard from his mother. He was raised in Fishers, Indiana, and went to the Hamilton Southeastern High School. He had a stellar high school basketball career, with his junior season being a high point in terms of team success. Averaging 18.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.7 steals per game, Gary Harris led the Royals to a 20-4 record and a trip to the Class 4A regional finals, capturing the second sectional championship in school history.

When it comes to individual accomplishments, Gary Harris’ peak was definitely in his senior year when he averaged 25.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 4.0 steals per game. However, this time, the Royals failed to capture any silverware. Gary Harris finished his high school career with stellar numbers of 16.7 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, and 2.5 steals per game.

Aside from being great at basketball, Gary Harris was also an incredible football player and played Wide Receiver for his high school team for three years, culminating in a sectional championship as a senior.

How did Gary Harris play for the Denver Nuggets?

Gary Harris was a key contributor to the rise of the Denver Nuggets in the NBA. He arrived in Denver from Chicago via a draft night trade. He was a very talented youngster but needed some developmental work and after doing it for a few seasons he finally recaptured some of his college star power in the pro level. Let’s not forget, that Gary Harris was so dominant in college basketball that his performances drew comparison with another Michigan State Spartan, the immortal Magic Johnson.

From budding talent to star

Four years after arriving in Denver, Harris finally started showing what the Nuggets envisioned when they chose him with the 19th pick in the draft in 2014. A silent assassin with a lethal shot who had his best season since he arrived in the league with 17.6 points per game on 48.5% shooting and an impressive 40% from three point range.

Is Gary Harris’ mother a WNBA player?

Gary Harris matched up against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and dropped 32 points, two rebounds, and four assists after making 10 of 17 of his shot attempts, including 6 of 10 from three. Numbers that have earned him the most outstanding performance of the night above legends like LeBron James and James Harden. However, the Nuggets’ ‘killer’ was not always the star. He had to sweat, work, and cry a lot to get to that level. He had to do it to convince his mother, a former Detroit Shocks player and Purdue legend, that he could make it to the NBA. 

Joy Holmes Harris took her oldest son under her wings and taught him all the secrets to succeed in the world of basketball from childhood. And little Gary had a choice, as he also stood out as a wide receiver on the school team. However, in the end, it was basketball that ended up winning the jackpot for his services. Maybe it was to prove to himself and his mother that he had finally become better than her, something he could never achieve in the backyard of the family home. 

There, afternoon after afternoon, mother and son spent hours playing against each other and discovering the secrets of a sport that she mastered. However, Joy had little tricks up her sleeve to end up beating her son in every game they played. The boy never achieved the desired victory. In fact, victory never came. Her mother ‘retired’ before her son managed to break her. “I think the last time we played together Gary would have been 14 years old. I beat him, but it was starting to be very tough,” the matriarch of the family now recalls with a laugh. 

Getting college ready

At that moment, Harris’ body began to change and Joy chose to polish the rough diamond in her hands, instead of just playing against him. They were eternal afternoons of shots and drives to the basket, an art that she mastered. A thousand daily repetitions always ended in the same way, with the ball swishing through the net. 

With the credentials of a lethal shooter and accomplished scorer, Harris decided to enroll at Michigan State as a preliminary step to his NBA adventure. There, under the orders of Tom Izzo, he began to show the entire country his potential, achieving feats that not even Magic Johnson had achieved with the Spartans. With the help of Izzo, Harris raised his level of play to unexpected highs without too much delay. In fact, in his first season with the Spartans, the Indiana shooter finished with 13 points per game and 41% shooting from beyond the arc. These numbers earned him the name Big Ten Freshman of the Year. An award that no other Michigan State Spartan had achieved. Not Steve Smith, not Draymond Green, not even the legendary Magic Johnson.

How did Gary Harris end up in Orlando?

After being enamored with Gary Harris’ stellar play, the Denver Nuggets rewarded him with a four year, $84 million extension in 2017. Buoyed by the contract, Gary Harris scored his career high against the Boston Celtics in December and matched the 36 points against the Phoenix Suns in January.

Pretty soon, the Denver Nuggets witnessed the ascent of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and sensed a championship window opening. The team management decided to trade Gary Harris and RJ Hampton to the Orlando Magic on March 25, 2021. The Denver Nuggets received athletic big man Aaron Gordon in return and he proved to be a valuable piece in the Nuggets’ Championship run during the 2022-23 NBA season, scoring a playoff career high 27 points in a win over the Miami Heat during Game 4 of the NBA finals.

What is Gary Harris doing now?

Gary Harris signed a two year, $26 million contract extension with the Orlando Magic on June 30, 2022. Later that year, Gary Harris underwent meniscus repair surgery on his left knee. After coming back from rehab, Gary Harris was involved in a fight with the Detroit Pistons players and was suspended for one game without pay for coming off the bench and joining the fight.

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