University of Kentucky basketball signee Andrew Harrison’s 25 points helped Travis High to its second victory in two days at the Marshall County Hoop Fest, 64-57 over a strong Madison Central team on Saturday night.
The reward for the victory? He and his five-star twin, Aaron, were greeted with an hourlong autograph line of a few hundred UK fans that spiraled through the lobby at Marshall County High School.
All of the twins’ teammates, most of whom will never play college basketball, were asked to sign programs and pose for pictures as well.
“It was definitely a different world, because where I go to school, I’ve grown up my whole life (there), so nobody treats me different and nobody looks at me,” Aaron Harrison said earlier this weekend. “… It’s really different, but I’m sure it’s something to get used to.”
Travis coach Craig Brownson said Aaron Harrison Sr. did a good job preparing his sons for the “Twinsanity” — as several fans’ T-shirts read — of committing to UK. The coach said his superstars were unfazed by the attention they received over the weekend.
“The basketball stuff speaks for itself, but they’re such welcoming kids, and they’re genuine,” Brownson said.
Fans followed the Travis team bus to a pizzeria at 1 a.m. after Friday’s game against Ballard just for a chance at a picture with the future Wildcats.
Junior guard Chris Idi, one of the Travis players who was asked to sign autographs for the first time in his life, said the twins — now 6 feet 5 and 210 pounds — have been the basketball alpha dogs in their hometown “from Day One.” He remembers them being 6-foot middle schoolers.
But he said the Harrisons remained humble as they developed into two of the nation’s most famous basketball prospects.
“I’m a really big fan of basketball, and seeing these major college basketball coaches (roam the halls of Travis High) was exciting,” Idi said. “… But nothing fazes (the twins).”
Willis doesn’t play but still draws crowd
Bullitt East forward Derek Willis, another UK signee, was supposed to be a headline act at the Hoop Fest, but he was resigned to the bench in a sweatsuit Saturday while finishing a two-game suspension for his ejection from Monday’s victory over Lafayette.
His team still beat Hopkinsville 78-65 on Saturday, and he cheered his teammates, including Bellarmine signee Rusty Troutman, who tied a career high with 32 points.
Willis said he regrets the back-to-back technical fouls he received in the Lafayette game for arguing a call.
“I was really disappointed myself,” he said. “I was just frustrated and let my emotions get the best of me, and I hope I can make the best of it.”
Willis was still a popular man at Marshall County. He was approached by lots of fans for his autograph and pictures.
“I’m sure not as bad as the Harrisons and (Andrew) Wiggins, but I get my attention,” he said with a laugh.
Troutman was terrific for the Chargers (3-0).
“I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it again: that he’s our heart and soul,” coach Troy Barr said.
Hoptown has prospects
Hopkinsville senior guard Jordan Majors had 24 points and showed a strong all-around offensive game against Bullitt East.
Coach Tim Haworth said Majors, who has a 6-11 wingspan, will wait until spring or later to pick a college. He has no scholarship offers yet, but Western Kentucky, Austin Peay, Northern Kentucky and Vincennes (a junior college) have expressed interest.
Haworth said sophomore forward Jaqualis Matlock is getting interest from Oklahoma State and Oregon State.
* Madison Central guard Dominique Hawkins went toe to toe with the Harrison twins, scoring a game-high 29 points.
Hawkins has scholarship offers from Western Kentucky, Morehead State and Valparaiso but hopes his performance against the nation’s best guards will accelerate his recruitment.
* Indiana signee Troy Williams had nine points as Oak Hill Academy rolled past Memphis Southwind 89-73.