Ryan Harrow is beginning to sense a pattern.
When the selections for the 2010 McDonald’s All-American Game were announced live on ESPNU on Feb. 11, Harrow — a senior point guard at Walton High School in Marietta, Ga. — once again found himself on the outside looking in as he was denied a career-defining opportunity. General consensus among several media and fans was that Harrow was the biggest McD’s snub out of anybody.
“I found out that I didn’t make it about a week before it was announced,” said Harrow, ranked No. 26 in the High School Hoop national Top 50. “Players were getting their letters and I didn’t get one. It really hurt me because I put in the work to make it and I played well in front of the guys that vote on the team… It just really hurt.”
To be fair, the 2010 class is loaded with quality point guards: Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick, N.J.), Brandon Knight (Pine Crest, Fla.), Ray McCallum Jr. (Detroit Country Day, Mich.), Josh Selby (Lake Clifton-Eastern, Md.), Kendall Marshall (Bishop O’Connell, Va.), Joe Jackson (White Station, Tenn.), Keith Appling (Detroit Purshing, Mich.) and Cory Joseph (Findlay, Nev.) all made the game’s roster. Harrow was most likely a mere victim in the numbers game.
But, rightfully so, Harrow still doesn’t understand.
“I know there were a lot of good point guards,” said Harrow, an N.C. State signee who is averaging 32 points, six assists and six rebounds per game. “But I’m ranked higher than some of the guys that were picked, so they couldn’t have gone off of rankings. It just makes you wonder what they were basing it off of … I guess sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
Another popular theory is that players associated with more high-profile colleges received favorable treatment: Irving is signed to Duke, Marshall to North Carolina, Appling to Michigan State, and Jackson to Memphis. Knight is still deciding between the likes of UConn, Kansas and Kentucky; McCallum has Duke, Arizona and UCLA in the running; Selby’s list is down to Arizona, Kentucky, UConn and Kansas; and Joseph’s list includes Texas, Villanova and UConn. If Harrow were on his way to the Tar Heels or Spartans instead of the Wolfpack, some believe he’d be on the McDonald’s roster.
But Harrow has grown accustomed to being overlooked. Although he was named to the 2K Sports All-American squad that traveled to France last summer, he’s been left out of other high-profile high school events. Back in August, Harrow wasn’t picked for the prestigious Elite 24 game at Rucker Park in Harlem. And then last week, after the McDonald’s snub, Harrow’s name was left off the Jordan Brand Classic roster — despite another player (Jelan Kendrick, Wheeler HS) and a head coach (Doug Lipscomb, Wheeler) from his same city getting the nod.
“It’s just another one of those things you’ve got to get past,” said Harrow. “Sometimes you work hard and it doesn’t work out like you want it to. This just means that I’ll be working that much harder from here on out.”
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