Recruiting a player is a long-term job and doesn’t stop until that player signs his National Letter of Intent.
During the recruiting period, a coaching staff tries to develop and hopefully form a long-term relationship with a player that they hope to coach for the next few years.
Keith Dambrot has a reputation as a solid recruiter and because of that, was able to close the deal Tuesday with Andre Harris. The talented forward from Hillcrest Prep in Mesa, Arizona signed his National Letter of Intent on Tuesday and put a wrap on Duquesne’s Class of 2020.
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Harris and asked him what solidified his decision to join the Dukes basketball program.
“At the end of the day, it came down to the loyalty and trust from the Duquesne staff,” said Harris. “Coach Dambrot has been there for me since I was very young in my early years of basketball. No matter what, he always called me to check in and make sure that me and my family were doing ok. He was very consistent with that and I felt very comfortable with joining his program.”
“Me and Coach D talked a lot especially when he visited here and I made my visit to Duquesne, he loved the way I can pass and how unselfish of a player I was. Duquesne was one of the teams that really noticed that about me and I liked that. We were able to touch base on a lot of things but we talked about things I need to work on and ways they can help me. In the end, I believe Coach Dambrot is the best player to help me do that.”
It’s no secret that Dambrot is an old-school coach and isn’t afraid to show even his best players “tough love,” but that’s not something that Harris is afraid of. In fact, he said that he’s looking forward to it.
“No doubt, I’m 100% OK with that,” said Harris. “Coach D is a very honest man and I love coaches that are honest because if I can’t trust you to be honest with me, then I don’t think the two of us can get much done together. He’s my guy and I appreciate everything that done for me.”
The 2020-21 Duquesne Dukes will a strong front court led by Mike Hughes and Marcus Weathers but this Class of 2020 is going to be counted on to contribute and eventually be the new wave of stars for the program, which is something that excites Harris.
“I’m going to come in and work as hard as I can and learn as much as I can right from the start,” Harris said. “I want to be a player that can be counted on to help keep the winning going and keep this thing heading up hill. I’ll do whatever the coaches want and work as hard as I can to keep this thing going.”
Even after committing to Duquesne in December, Harris had opportunities to join other programs but decided not to do so and now can’t wait to arrive in Pittsburgh to officially get to work with the Dukes.
“With this virus going on, I haven’t been able to do much so I’ve been thinking about things a lot of things including my other options,” Harris said. “But it came down to loyality and Coach D showed that more than anyone. Now I’m going to wait until this is virus is over with and look forward to stepping on campus and being the best person and player that I can be.”