Harry Giles, consensus top five 2016 basketball recruit, was recently cleared to play basketball after a serious knee injury he suffered almost a year ago. While playing for Team USA's U16 team in Uruguay last June, he tore the ACL, MCL, and meniscus in his left knee. This forced him to miss AAU (plays for CP3 All Stars) over the summer as well his entire high school season. After being forced to watch and cheer on his teammates, Giles is finally ready to get back on the court and provide a huge impact.
After the devastating injury, Giles is more than ready to get back on the court. "I am extremely excited about returning to the court. I haven't played in almost a year so I'm pumped but I'm still being cautious." He is not used to extended time away from basketball, between AAU, high school, and even national basketball events. As I talked to him during his time off from the injury, it was easy to see his desire to get back on the court. Thankfully, the good news has come and Giles can finally make his return.
Although Giles is excited to return to basketball, it was encouraging to see that he knew it would be a process. When I asked when his first game will be, he commented "I am not even worried about it yet honestly. I am just worrying about getting stronger and getting back on top of my game and when I feel I'm ready, I'll return to the court." This excitement but cautiousness should serve him well as he improves his game and works to prevent further injuries from occurring. His desire to get back on the court is huge but he understands the importance of preventing further injury. This will be crucial as Giles will likely have a long basketball career ahead of him.
More than just returning from his injury, Giles is extremely dedicated to improving his game. A major thing he hoped to improve was his shooting, "I want to improve my game on the shooting side, my pull-up shot, hitting open jumpers and even some threes." Giles' superior athleticism has helped him in attacking the hoop and on defense, but a jump shot would add another dynamic element to his game. The most important improvement for Giles, "I want to continue to grow into the leadership role." Harry Giles will always be one of the talented players on the floor but is dedicated to be a great teammate. It may take time for Giles to completely recover but it is safe to say he will make an immediate impact when he returns.
Living in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest has always been a team on Harry's mind. He has attended many games, including Wake Forest's most recent home win over Duke. At a very young age, Wake Forest changed from a local college to one he will seriously consider attending, as they first began recruiting him in 7th or 8th grade, according to Giles. While his recruiting has exploded since then, Wake Forest has always been a school he has considered. "It's right in my hometown of Winston-Salem so I know I'm home - you can't go wrong with that."
Despite Wake Forest's recent change in head coach, he does not expect his recruiting from his hometown school to change. When asked about Danny Manning, Giles said "He was a great player and I hear he is a great coach. I think he will make a huge difference at Wake Forest and it's a great pick up for their program. I'm anxious to see what he'll do and what he'll bring to Wake Forest. His hiring doesn't affect my recruiting. I'm going to give him just as much respect as I give all the other coaches who recruit me and listen to that he saying." It is safe to say Giles is in favor of the Manning hire and will likely be in contact with him in the near future. Manning actually visited Giles at his high school on Thursday.
I believe Danny Manning and Harry Giles would be a great fit together. Manning likes to play an up-tempo style, a style that has allowed Giles to thrive. Manning also likes to feature big men, which would play to Harry's strength. I believe Manning's NBA experience and ability to coach big men would be extremely beneficial for Giles to learn from and something he would take full advantage of. As the feature of the Wake Forest program during his potential time on campus, Giles would have a huge impact and could learn a lot from Manning that could allow him to quickly thrive in the NBA.
As far as his college decision is concerned, Giles will likely not be ready to make a decision anytime soon. "There is no timeline honestly. I'm not even thinking about it right now. I'm just focusing on school, rehab, and getting better; I'll let the rest come when it's time." It will be interesting to monitor Giles' level of interest in Wake over the next two years. The success of Danny Manning as a head coach will be crucial and his early recruiting efforts will be something to watch, especially in the case of Harry Giles. He is an extremely talented player and an even better person and I wish him all the best of luck in the future, no matter his ultimate decision,
Editor's Note: This piece was written by Thomas Eames, who is a high school senior considering attending Wake Forest University. The Blogger So Dear staff greatly appreciates him writing this feature on Harry Giles and it is possible Thomas will become a full-time staff member here at Blogger So Dear.