Moe Harkless, the regal and talented small forward from Queens, made it official yesterday. He announced he is ready to start his pro career after turning in arguable the best freshman season in the history of St. John’s basketball.
“It has been my lifelong dream to play in the NBA, and I am excited to have that opportunity to make the jump,” Harkless said yesterday at the Garden. “I am grateful to my teammates and coaches at St. John’s. I would like to thank Coach Lavin, our staff and my teammates for being there for me throughout the whole season.’’
“ We have been through a lot together and I know everyone is excited for me,’’ added Harkless. “ I know if we all keep working hard, a lot of us will be playing together in the league someday. I believe this is only the beginning for coach ‘Steve’ Lavin and his successful legacy at St. John’s.”
Harkless, the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year, was magnificent, despite playing out of position at the power forward. He averaged 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds, opening league play by scoring 32 points against Providence to set a record for a conference debut.
The only concerns facing him are his size and the randomness of the draft. He weighs 209 pounds but certainly has the size at 6-8 to add muscle.
Harkless looked like a pro yesterday, wearing a grey sweater over a black dress shirt and matching tie with diamond studs in each ear.
The fact that most of the elite freshmen from the 2010-11 season remained in school because of the NBA’s labor strife could keep Harkless out of the first 20 picks. But his work ethic, potential and solid character could make him a great late first-round pick.
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