(Photo credit: Syracuse.com)
The Tobias Harris countdown is on. The nation’s No. 3 small forward and No. 7 overall prospect will make his nationally-televised decision November 19.
Despite just about every school on the East Coast getting giddy over Tobias, Syracuse still seems to be one of the favorites. The Fizz grabbed an exclusive with his head coach at Half Hollow Hills High school on Long Island, Bill Mitaritonna.
Coach is a basketball-lifer, which makes his comments about Tobias that much more impressive.
He says Harris is throwing it down with “LeBron-like strength.” There have been a handful of NFL players that have come out of Half Hollow Hills and Harris has outworked them all.
“He’s extremely competitive. He hates to lose. He hates losing more than he loves winning.”
As for the schools Tobias has visited, Mitaritonna says he’s come away equally impressed with all of them – but in different ways. Tennessee had a stadium of over 100,000 people chanting his name, and Kentucky put on a big show for Midnight Madness.
And as for Syracuse, he liked the large population of Long Islanders. Plenty of upstate New York schools draw heavy from the Tri-State area, but if you want some Strong Island, look no further than the sorority houses on Walnut and Comstock. Trust me.
“He likes the fact that everyone has a huge following. He goes to a Tennessee football game and has 104,000 people chanting his name. The thing he loves about Syracuse is how many New Yorkers are there. Long Island is a huge feeder into Syracuse, so I think he felt comfortable with that.”
Mitaritonna said Tobias opted to go on all of his allotted campus visits.
“He wanted to go to all seven schools because all seven schools have treated him great. His parents have a great mindset about it. They want to give everyone a fair shot and I think that’s the right way to do it.”
In this upcoming high school season, Tobias will be playing on the wing for Hills West and his goal isn’t to get points for himself, but instead for his little brother Tyler who is already 6’7″ and getting looks from Hofstra, West Virginia and others.
“He’s looking for a gut-reaction. When he steps on campus, how does he feel? He’s good with that, talking with the kids about what it’s like. He’s been pretty quiet about it. He’s asked me my opinion on a couple things about it.”
Nine days until Tobias makes his decision on ESPNU at the ESPN Zone in Manhattan. The countdown is on.