High School Sports

Green Hope’s Will Harkins perfect fit for Falcons’ offense

Green Hope's Will Harkins (center) sails to the basket between Cary's Kyle Gensler (left) and Jeff Fortuny (3) 12 during the NCHSAA SWAC Championship boys basketball game, which was played in Apex on Friday, February 17, 2017.
Green Hope's Will Harkins (center) sails to the basket between Cary's Kyle Gensler (left) and Jeff Fortuny (3) 12 during the NCHSAA SWAC Championship boys basketball game, which was played in Apex on Friday, February 17, 2017. newsobserver.com

As a junior, Green Hope guard Will Harkins noticed defenses were changing the way they were guarding him. They expected him to drive to the rim, and although he handled it well enough to still have an all-conference season, he knew he had to adjust.

With a lot of work and a little adjustment to his shooting form, Harkins has turned into the jack-of-all-trades that is so highly valued in Green Hope’s Princeton-style offense.

In his senior year, Harkins is the unquestioned catalyst for the 22-5 Falcons, which won the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference tournament last week and begins the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs Tuesday night at home against Knightdale.

He averages 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

“I think you could put him into any offense, and he’d be fine,” Green Hope coach John Green said.

Harkins’ hard work in the offseason showed on Jan. 27 when he set a school record for points in a contest – 32 against Panther Creek.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime game,” said Harkins, who, at the time, hadn’t topped the 20-point mark on the season. In the following two weeks, however, he topped the 20-point mark twice more.

The key for Green Hope’s success this year, said Green, is its unselfishness and team chemistry. That starts with Harkins, the two-year captain, and how long he and his teammates have played with one another.

“I just know how to move without he ball and know how to find my teammates,” Harkins said. “I know where they’re going to be when I drive. It’s all about chemistry.”

Though the 6-foot senior hasn’t received much recruiting interest, his addition would be like adding a player and an assistant.

“He’s just such a smart player,” Green said. “He’s like a coach on the floor. I noticed that, over last year and over the summer, he’s thinking almost exactly what I’m thinking.”

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