New York Colleges: Maurice Harkless

Sixers draft St. John's star Harkless

June, 29, 2012
Elsa/Getty ImagesHarkless was sporting a Sixers cap on draft night.
NEWARK, N.J. -- New York City has two NBA teams, but a local college team stole the headlines Thursday night.

With the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets both lacking a first-round pick, attention turned toward St. John's forward Maurice Harkless, who was selected in the first round, 15th overall, by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harkless, a Queens native, is the first St. John's player selected in the draft since Omar Cook in 2001, and the school's highest selection since the late Malik Sealy was chosen 14th by the Indiana Pacers in 1992.

"Thankful for the opportunity and thankful to Philadelphia for drafting me," Harkless said. "Hope I can help the team any way I can."

The 6-foot-9, 207-pound forward averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in his one season with the Red Storm. He was named the Big East Rookie of the Year.

Click here for the complete story.
ESPNU's college basketball recruiting rankings were recently updated, and both St. John's and Rutgers had players who have verbally committed to play for them featured.

Maurice Harkless (St. John's) and Myles Mack (Rutgers) both made the list of the top 100 players in the Class of 2011 -- Harkless was ranked No. 60, and Mack was ranked No. 68.

Rutgers also had a player ranked among the top 60 players in the Class of 2012: Jordan Goodman (ranked No. 58).

Click here to see the entire ESPNU 100.

St. John's lands a big-time local recruit

August, 31, 2010
New St. John's men's basketball coach Steve Lavin scored a major coup on Tuesday, getting a verbal commitment from Maurice Harkless to join the Red Storm starting in the 2011-2012 season.

Harkless, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound small forward, is listed as the No. 81 player in his class in the entire country, and the 19th-best player at his position, on the ESPNU 100.

"Harkless is an explosive athlete with great size and length for the wing positions," according to Scouts, Inc. (Click here to read more of Harkless' evaluation.)

Harkless is a local product -- formerly of Forest Hills High School in Queens, now playing for South Kent (Conn.). He originally committed to UConn in June, but then re-opened his recruitment soon after.

Lavin landing a local product of this magnitude is a good sign for the future of the St. John's program. Norm Roberts, Lavin's predecessor, had difficulty convincing local players to stay home and play for St. John's.