DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The son of a five-time NBA champion will be playing in his dad’s hometown as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Wednesday in the finale game for the First Four.
Ron Harper Jr., a forward for the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights, has had an impressive senior year. He averaged 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and nearly 2 assists per game.
“Dayton is a place that I hold near and dear to my heart,” Harper Jr. said during Tuesday’s press conference. “I have a lot of family here so, it’s great to be back here. All roads lead back to home, so I consider this place to be a big part of me.”
Harper Jr. was the one of the top vote getter’s among the honorable mention selections for being named to the AP All-American first team.
Rutgers lost to the Iowa Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, but were able to make it into the First Four as they fight for the 11th seed in the NCAA tournament. If the Scarlet Knights win Wednesday night, they will head to San Diego to take on the 6th seeded Alabama Crimson Tide.
Ron Harper Sr. was a star basketball player at Kiser High School in Dayton before he went on to play at the Miami University of Ohio. The Redhawks retired his number, 34, his senior year after he became the all-time leading scorer in Miami basketball history.
He was drafted 8th overall in the 1986 draft by his home state team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he spent his first three seasons and was named to the NBA All-Rooke First Team in 1987.
In 1994, Harper Sr. was apart of the second half of the Chicago Bulls dynasty winning three consecutive NBA championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. But his championship run didn’t end there.
He went on to the Los Angeles Lakers where he continued playing for Phil Jackson and joined forces with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Harper Sr. won two more championship with the Lakers in 2000 and 2001.
Harper Sr. ended his career in 2001 with an impressive 5 NBA championships over his 15-year career.
But, Harper Jr. is expected to make a statement during the final stretch of his NCAA career. And it all starts in Dayton.