Harry Giles, Duke, Giles, Blue Devils, Sacramento Kings
Mar 17, 2017; Greenville, SC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Harry Giles (1) shoots the ball against Troy Trojans forward Alex Hicks (30) during the first half in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Harry Giles Regrets Playing As A Freshman At Duke

There’s a lot of Harry Giles buzz growing. When GetMoreSports recently sat down with Vince Carter and chatted pre-interview, Carter — who spent this season with Giles in Sacramento — raved about the young big man.

In an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Giles reflected on his journey from No. 1 prospect to No. 20 pick after a tumultuous lone season with the Duke Blue Devils. Giles rushed back from a knee injury, which he suffered at the end of his senior year at Oak Hill Academy. With hindsight, he regrets that decision.

“I wasn’t really ready,” Giles said. He added that he “thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. I think I was more anxious, young, kind of just wanted to go out there and play, knowing that I came back fast from my first injury, but the level of competition I played against was a little bit different, along with the speed of the game. I think the strength and the speed was harder to come back from.”

Giles didn’t live up to his five-star billing in Durham. He played only 11.5 minutes per game, averaging 3.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game. Fellow freshman Jayson Tatum far outshined Giles.

Giles called entering the 2017 NBA Draft after his underwhelming freshman year “another tough decision.” But he doesn’t seem to regret that one.

“I just felt like for me going forward with the injuries I had, it was what I needed to do,” Giles said. “I felt like the NBA was better because it was more time [in the gym and rehabbing] — I wouldn’t have to be in class all day…Having to work out, going to rehab between classes and stuff like that, that took a toll on me. I’d just be dead tired in college.”

Kings Building

In addition to Giles, who is now playing in Summer League, the Kings have another young promising former Blue Devils big: Marvin Bagley III. Because Sacramento wanted a modern big, the Kings selected Bagley No. 2 in June’s draft.

Finally, Sacramento hopes Giles, Bagley, De’Aaron Fox, and Bogdan Bogdanovic will be able to lead the franchise out of the lottery.

About Aaron Mansfield

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Aaron Mansfield is a freelance sports writer. His work has appeared in Complex, USA Today and the New York Times. Mansfield is a PhD candidate at UMass Amherst.

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