Ramon Harris Will Never Forget The 2010 Kentucky Elite 8 Run Like Being In A Movie And Battling John Wall On A Daily Basis

I have never kept count how often I have received emails in the last 20 years from players wanting to know if I know of any teams looking for the services of a player. It has to be thousands. There were times where hearing this phrase was as prevalent for me as the daily hate Luka Doncic must have been getting in his first years in the NBA in terms of all those experts believing his play was a fluke. Well it wasn’t a fluke. Luka is the real deal. Anyway there are so many gifted players in the world and still too many to fill up all roster spots including in remote places like Albania, Haiti, Moldovia or Chad. There are leagues in every country, but still I’m getting emails from guys who are jobless. I try to help, but often these guys are legends in their own mind and more rec players than professional players. But often guys asking for help are more than credible. Sometimes I even get emails from friends or lady friends. Recently I got an email from a lady who was very polite and asked me if I could help her friend Ramon. I checked his bio and when I saw where he played in school, I was flashed. This dude had played at one of the most famous basketball institutions in America. In his senior year he was teammates with Darnell Dodson, Perry Stevenson, Jon Hood and Mark Krebs and surely they don’t ring a bell for anyone, but what about these studs and future legends. Josh Harrellson, DeAndre Liggins, Daniel Orton, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, DeMarkus Cousins and John Wall. My first reaction was Jesus Christ, what a team. For many it is still a riddle why this collection of players only reached the NCAA Elite 8 in 2010. The player who was able to call himself teammates with these incredible players was Ramon Harris (201-F-1988, college: Kentucky). He may never have reached the NBA, but still has carved out a fine professional career. He was even off my radar. I have covered thousands of players in 20 years, but I didn’t even remember that he had played a season in Germany a decade ago with BG Goetingen in the Pro A. Presently he is looking for a team. So why not give him a Christmas present with an interview to get his name out there? It is really true that I’m a player’s best friend. Ramon Harris will never forget the 2010 Kentucky Elite 8 Run like being a movie and battling John Wall on a daily basis.

Ramon Harris with John Wall and Eric Bledsoe

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and ex Kentucky(NCAA) player Darius Miller in Frankfurt, Germany in 2015

Ramon Harris who remembers Darius Miller being his brother and is diplomatic that both won their share of 1-1 battles at Kentucky was born on May 26th, 1988 Anchorage, Alaska and living in Tampa, Florida now. He got his first taste of basketball at West High school in Anchorage. He then went from Anchorage to Lexington to play at the University of Kentucky. I’m not going to do the research, but I can’t imagine there have been many to go from Alaska to play at the University of Kentucky. He played at the famous basketball school form 2006-2010 playing a total of 106 NCAA games. In his 4 seasons there, he never averaged more than 5,5ppg and 3,8rpg and came off the bench. It is only normal that he will have memories at Kentucky that will last a lifetime. ‘Playing at Kentucky was a dream come true. Growing up in Alaska it wasn’t normal for people to go to big D1 colleges. So for me to go to Kentucky was bigger than me. That run to the elite 8 in 2010 felt like I was in a movie. We were playing all the best teams in some of the most historic gyms like Madison Square Garden in New York City. My time in Kentucky was truly a blessing’, stated Ramon Harris. In his senior year, the NCAA run by Kentucky began like a lightening flash as they blew away East Tennessee, Wake Forest and Cornell by a combined score of 252-176, but then came West Virgina who was a hurdle that was too big to master. ‘That 2010 team had been argued as one of the best college teams ever. I’m thankful to be a part of that team and part of Kentucky history. I believe that we had more than enough talent to win the final 4 that year. We just fell short’, stressed Ramon Harris. Hie biggest achievements was wining the SEC tournament in 2010 and reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and NIT Elite 8. There were 2 seasons where he averaged 22 minutes per contest. He scored in double figures in 7 games. Even if he lost 77-58 to the big mighty North Carolina, he was able to hold his own contributing 15 points and can tell his grandchildren that he was in the trenches with guys like Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis and Danny Green. He also played for legendary coach John Calipari and saw first hand how great he treated his players. ‘My time with coach Calipari was great and short at the same time. I only had a chance to play for him 1 season. In that time he really handled practice, games and travel like we were a NBA team. He really had us compete at a high level in practice so that when the games came we were prepared’, remembered Ramon Harris. Many people are still waiting for John Wall to make the next step in his career and win that first NBA chip just like his ex teammate Harris. ‘John Wall is and was a big time talent. I think he is the missing peace that the Clippers need to win a NBA championship’, warned Ramon Harris.

The forward who lists ex teammate John Wall as his most difficult foe on the court turned professional in 2010, but didn’t play right away. He landed in the D-League with Rio Grande in pre season, but wasn’t signed and then was with Trotamundos de Carabobo (Venezuela-LPB), but also didn’t survive the pre season. Even if he would go on to play many years in the D-League, he did have growing pains his rookie season. One would have thought, it would be tough for him coming from Kentucky (NCAA) and having to get cut. ‘It wasn’t tough for my ego leaving Kentucky and getting cut. That summer in 2010 I had the opportunity to workout with the Houston Rockets after going undrafted. Me playing at a high level in Houston allowed me to get a camp invite for the Rio Grand Valley Vipers. I remember working out with Yao Ming, Aaron Brooks, and all their draft pics. I will always be thankful to the Houston Rockets for allowing me to be a part of their organization in the summer of 2010 and 2012’, stated Ramon Harris. He then finally got his first professional job in the summer of 2011 with Ningxia Hanas (China-NBL) averaging 17.0ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.9apg, Steals-5 (2.2spg), FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 65.7%. He had some huge games including against Heilongjiang where he almost broke 50 points. ‘When I went and played in China I feel like I showed that I can play. The biggest adjustment was leaving the culture and the time difference from back home. I enjoyed my time in China and the support I received. I scored my career high 48 points while I was there’, added Ramon Harris. The 48 point explosion was a vital experience in his career. ‘I just remember in pregame warmups that I couldn’t miss and I just felt good. Once the game started I felt like I couldn’t miss. The basket looked higher than it ever has. After that game felt like I established myself and my professional career’, commented Ramon Harris. After not making it the D-League as a rookie, he then finally got his chance in his second pro season playing with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (D-League) averaging 5.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.2spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 31.2%, FT: 60.9%. ‘My first season in the G-league was a learning experience for me. I didn’t play a lot and the guy that was starting in my position was a G-league all star. So I got a chance to leave and grow that season’, commented Ramon Harris. That season he scored in double figures in 8 games including 20 points against Santa Cruz. After a season in the D-League, he made his first attempt of breaking in overseas and did playing with 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen (Germany-ProA) averaging 11.3ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 63.0%. There were so many times in his professional career that he couldn’t display his scoring, but in Germany he did. ‘I really enjoyed my time in Germany. I felt like when I played in Germany I showed Europe that I was a scoring talent. I felt like I’m my time in in Germany I showed that I was one of the best scoring talents in that league. I was disappointed that my scoring opportunities were not the same as they were playing for BG Goettingen. Just like my time in Cyprus I feel like I showed that I can score the ball’, remembered Ramon Harris. He also found out that if you can play for Johan Roijakkers, then you can play for anyone. ‘Coach Johan Roijakkers was a very intense coach. As you can see I played at a high level with him as my coach. There are moments where he challenges you but I feel like I thrived under that pressure’, stressed Ramon Harris.

The Alaska native who lists DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Chris Porter, Marvin Jones, and Malcom Griffin as his best teammates of all-time then returned back home and despite a short stay in Mexico, would play 4 seasons in the D-League for teams Ft Wayne, Iowa and Grand Rapids. He would go on to play 197 games in that span for those 3 clubs. His best season would be with the Iowa Energy where he averaged 11.8ppg, 8.4rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 37.8%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 67.6%. He was very consistent that season and was close to reaching the NBA. ‘My time in Iowa and in Grand Rapids we’re great for me and my career. There were a few times that I was on the verge of getting a NBA call up. By the stats you can see that I was playing some of my best basketball during that time’, remembered Rmon Haris. He scored in double figures in 66 games. His highest scoring game was 30 points. ‘That game against Santa Cruz will be on that I will talk about when I get old. It was game 1 of the G-league finals. I just remember the energy was crazy in Fort Wayne. Once I made that first 3 I felt like I just couldn’t miss. I ended up setting a record going 8-12 from 3 and finished with 30 points’, remembered Ramon Harris. He played most of his time with Fort Wayne and it is only obvious that he formed special relationships there. He had some incredible teammates like Jordan Crawford and could learn from Duke legend Christain Laetner and well know coach Steve Gansey. FT Wayne will always have a special place in his heart. ‘When I was in Ft Wayne I had an opportunity to win a G- league championship and set a G- league finals record going 8-12 from 3. I had the opportunity to play with a lot of NBA guys like Jordan Crawford, John Jenkins, Russ smith and etc. My time in Fort Wayne was life changing and Fort Wayne will always be a special place in my heart. Coach Steven Gansey and I had a real close relationship. He was there and supported me when I first got to Fort Wayne. When Christian Laettner became a part of the organization we developed a friendship even though he did go to Duke. They both played a major part in my professional career and I am thankful’, stressed Ramon Harris. What many don’t realize is that he played a lot longer in the D-League than most overseas. Usually guys will play in the G-League 2-3 years and then realize that their train to the NBA has taken off without them. He didn’t regret any choices he made ‘I understand that most guys only play in the G-league 2-3 years but for me I stayed that long because I felt that was the best option I had at that time. In my stint In the G-league I was on the verge of 2 call ups. So that motivated me to try and show that I was a NBA talent. I was blessed to play for some great organizations in my time in the G-league so my life style was good. It’s a lot of work to stay in the G-league and I just tried to prove my worth every night. My G-league career was long compared to other people’s time. I was blessed to play professional basketball and that is what I wanted ever since I was a little boy. Everyone has different paths so I definitely believe that the G-League was worth my time’, expressed Ramon Harris.

The 201cm forward who lists Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Tracy McGrady on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore than returned overseas for the 2017-2018 season. He then played 3 seasons in Greece’s first division for 3 teams. His first destination was Kolossos H Hotels Rodou (Greece-A1) averaging 9.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT: 42.0%. There are some places that you can call paradise in Europe and living on the island of Rodou is probably as close as you can get to paradise, but his year there also had other high points. ‘My time in Rodos was one that I will never forget. I developed some great relationships while I was there. The island showed me so much love. I built relationships and brotherhood that will last forever. Kolossos allowed me to show my talents and skills and display my game at a high international level. Playing with my teammates like Keith Wright, Marvin Jones, Malcom Griffin was a time that I got a chance to go to compete at a high level’, said Ramon Harris. That season he played 28 games and scored in double figures in 15 games. There he got his first real taste overseas what it is like to battle one of the top Euroleague teams Panathinaikos at that time. He played them 4 times and lost each battle, but held his own scoring in double figures 3 times and scored 17 points once. He played against established foes like Marcus Denmon, James Gist, Chris Singleton and Nick Calathes and proved he belonged. ‘I still have the highlights of my best games in Europe. Specifically the games against Panathinaikos because I really wanted to play for them. I had some close games against them and almost beat them twice in my time in Greece. I will always remember that I helped my own against high level talent because I always seen myself as a high level talent. If you watch those games you will see that as well’, added Ramon Harris. In 2018-2019 he balled for well known Greek team Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) averaging 6.3ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.0apg, Steals-4 (1.4spg), FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 45.8%; and in the FIBA Europe Cup averaged 5.3ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 33.3%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 25.0%. ‘Playing for Aris was amazing! I really enjoyed my time there. I loved the fans and how they supported us. They season didn’t go how we all wanted it to go. Ended up losing out of champions league and finally Europe cup. I will always appreciate the opportunity that I had to compete against some high level talent like and teams’, stated Ramon Harris. That season he scored in double figures in 7 games and scored 11 points against Panathinaikos. In his last season in Greece he played with Rethymno Cretan Kings (Greece-A1) averaging 5.1ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 0.0%. It was another season where he wasn’t trusted enough to be more of a scoring option. ‘I was disappointed with my play for sure. I know that I could have played better than I did in my 3rd season with Rhythemo. I was disappointed that in my time in Greece that I wasn’t more of a scoring option. If you see in my career when I’m more of an option offensively I can score the ball’, warned Ramon Harris. He scored 14 points against Panionios and 11 points against Iraklis. There he was teammates with a great player Josh Carter that recently retired after a stellar career and a guy I have on my lengthy interview list that I interviewed in his rookie season in Germany with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. ‘Josh Carter was a super cool teammate. I’m just mad that I didn’t get a chance to play a full season with him. That year when we were on the same team Covid canceled our season early. Josh and I are still in contact checking on each other and supporting one another’, commented Ramon Harris.

The 34 year old player who believes that Jordan is the GOAT, but Lebron is very close and basketball isn’t the same without Kobe then got his next job in 2021 with El Million Yireh (Dominican Republic-TBS) averaging 12.0ppg, 8.0rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0bpg and last season played with AEL Limassol (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) averaging 13.0ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.0apg, 3.5spg, 1.0bpg. He didn’t play many games as Covid affected everybody in some way. ‘The 2 games that I played in the Dominican Republic were great for me because it was over a year before I played before that. I had good games averaging 14 and 7. In Cyprus I actually played more than two games. I played in the cup games for AEL, which we made it to the cup games championship. My first game with AEL I had 27 and 13 making 7 threes in that game. Covid played a part in me playing in late 2020-2021 season’, remembered Ramon Harris. He has played 373 professional games and is sure that his basketball journey will continue again soon. ‘Even though I played 6 games for AEL I feel like I showed that I have a lot of basketball left and that I can play at a high level and help a team win. Outside of basketball the country of Cyprus was amazing and the organization treated me with much love and respect’, said Ramon Harris. One thing is for sure, when Ramon Harris‘s playing days come to an end, he can do 2 things that will always bring a smile. He could release a personal diary in book form about his experiences at Kentucky and his professional career and he will always be a popular guy at family reunions and Thanksgiving family meetings because he will always be the best story teller. But for now, he isn’t thinking about being the main attraction on the couch at family gatherings, but moreover focused on landing that next job.

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Tags : RAMON HARRISAEL LIMASSOLGERMAN BASKETBALL

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