St. John's star Harkless drafted by Sixers
Maurice Harkless, a New York City native who starred at St. John's this past season, was selected No. 15 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in Thursday's NBA Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
"I have worked really hard," said Harkless, who said he will finish his degree at St. John's. "It's the hardest I've worked in my life, and I didn't think I could work as hard as I have been working. It's definitely a great feeling and I'm happy to be here. I'm blessed."
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Harkless made a name for himself at Forest Hills High School in Queens, and transferred to South Kent School in Connecticut for his senior year before committing to St. John's.
Harkless averaged 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in his junior year at Forrest Hills, and then raised his game by recording 27.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per contest as a senior.
In his lone year under the direction of St. John's coach Steve Lavin, Harkless was named the Big East Rookie of the Year. He posted 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Red Storm as a freshman.
"Being there humbled me a lot," he said. "I was very humble, but being there with coach Rico and coach Dunlap, who's now the coach of the Bobcats, they taught me how to work hard and dedicate myself to the game. I think they helped me a lot with the little things."
Lavin was present at the draft and was given a Sixers hat as a token of appreciation from Harkless.
"Moe is the best player in New York City," Lavin said of Harkless last year. "He is an excellent athlete, highly-skilled and versatile enough to contribute at multiple positions."
Harkless is the first St. John’s player drafted since Omar Cook went in the 2001 draft.
Meanwhile, Queens native Doron Lamb, who played high school ball at Virginia powerhouse Oak Hill Academy after transfering from Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn, was selected with the 42nd pick by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Lamb helped Kentucky capture the NCAA national championship this past year, averaging 13.7 points as a sophomore.
Another Queens native, Kyle O'Quinn of Norfolk State, was taken No. 49 overall by the Orlando Magic. The 6-foot-10 former Campus Magnet star was instrumental in helping the 15th-seeded Spartans knock off second-seeded Missouri in March Madness.
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