Under Armour affects Harrison twins’ decision?
by Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
RICHMOND, Texas — Aaron Harrison Sr., a no-nonsense former military man, knows the pitfalls of recruiting process, so he exhibits total control over his sons, Aaron and Andrew, twin brothers who national recruiting analysts say represent the best package deal in recent memory.
Harrison Sr., said that until September even the college coaches courting his sons had to go through dad first. One exception: Chris Hightower, in charge of basketball marketing at Under Armour.
“He is my saving grace that there are some upright, straight, humane people in the basketball business,” Harrison Sr. said. “He is the one guy who can call Aaron and Andrew.
“They text him, ‘Hey, Chris, appreciate what you sent us, thanks a lot. Hey, Chris, do you have a black hoodie? Does Under Armour make this or that?’ He will text them, ‘Great game I saw on TV.’ ”
Under Armour sponsors Maryland’s basketball team as well as the AAU team for which Harrison coaches and his sons play. And if the connection between Hightower and Maryland was not clear enough, Hightower uses an image of the Under Armour-designed Maryland football uniforms for his Twitter picture.
Messages left for Hightower were not immediately returned. “Chris Hightower is a member of the team of Under Armour employees who service and support the University of Maryland all-sports apparel contract,” the Maryland athletics department said in a statement.
The Harrisons will announce their college choice Thursday on ESPNU (5 p.m., ET).
Before they announce a school — as fans at Kentucky and Maryland toss with anxiety — they are scheduled to receive a visit today at their home from Maryland coaches who hope to secure commitments. Signing day is Nov. 14. Potentially on the line: a Final Four berth in 2014, at the end of their first and perhaps only season playing college basketball.
“Next year, when those two are in college, I can’t imagine they’ll play a backcourt better than them,” said Evan Daniels, national recruiting analyst for Scout.com. “Those two guys are future NBA players with a chance to play in a couple NBA All-Star Games.”