After not having a senior ceremony for Cameron Stanley last season since his situation was in limbo, Dino Gaudio will congratulate his first senior class on Sunday night in Winston-Salem against Clemson. The staff at Blogger So Dear would like to thank our graduating seniors Bobby Hoekstra, Mike Lepore and Harvey Hale for their commitment to the Wake Forest basketball program over the last four years. Since Harvey is our only scholarship player that has used up his eligibility (David Weaver is a redshirt junior), we thought it would be nice to look back at a couple of the more memorable moments of HH's career as a Demon Deacon.
The relationship between Wake Forest and Harvey Hale was an interesting one from the start. Hale committed to the Deacons before he ever stepped foot on campus. Being from New Mexico, it was not exactly convenient for him to make the trip out here but I'm sure the opportunity to play on Tobacco Road was just too much for him to pass up for any amount of time.
Things certainly did not get any easier from that point. Skip Prosser and staff expected to have Chris Paul back for another year to handle the point guard duties, but that fell through when CP3 entered the NBA draft in order to start his professional career. At first, Wake fans thought that while Justin Gray was not a true point guard, we would still be a top 30-40 team and make the NCAA tourney behind the experienced play of Gray and Eric Williams. However, as many teams have learned throughout the past few seasons, it is tough to win at any level without a true point guard. After a few games Skip decided to give Harv a try at point guard, which was clearly not the reason he was recruited to the Demon Deacons. It is tough enough for a highly rated true point guard to start as a freshman in the ACC, much less a lessor known SG from New Mexico. While the season did not pan out as many hoped, you have to give some major credit to Harvey Hale for being fearless and taking on this tough task without hesitation. This has been the story throughout Harvey's career at Wake. He fills whatever role is needed by the coaching staff and has never seemed to be overly frustrated about it. From being a point guard, to designated end-of-game free throw shooter, to senior leader, Harvey Hale has handled every situation thrown at him with class and has never complained. He is always ready when coach calls on him, which allowed him to come in cold and hit a huge three recently against Virginia when the Deacs were in an offensive funk.
I have two personal favorite Harvey Hale-related moments, both of which the majority of Wake fans will easily recall.
The first is the best play I have seen in the Joel since I have been in the student section (this is my 4th year). I do not really have to say much other than Harvey to LD against GT. If that does not ring a bell, watch the video below:
Harvery Hale to LD Williams vs. GT (via Forest21)
It makes it even better that there is a WakeJake sighting right after the dunk as well. Good times.
Of course, my number one Harvey Hale moment happened against Georgia Tech as well, only this time it was on a bigger stage. In the first round of the 2007 ACC tournament, the Deacs were underdogs to the Yellow Jackets. Tech had McDonald's All-Americans Jarvaris Crittenton and Thad Young, but neither stole the show like Harvey did that night after regulation. Amazingly, Harv only had a single point as the score was tied when the clock struck zero. However, he was able to come in after some other key Wake players fouled out and score 21 points in the two overtime periods to lead the Deacons to the upset victory. He hit five three-pointers in the extra periods, some highly contested. He was just in the zone and would not let Anthony Morrow win the battle of shooters that night. I will never forget the roller coaster of emotions I felt that night as I watched the game with my friends in Taylor Hall.
In summary, I would just like to thank Harvey Hale for giving his best to the program and never complaining about whatever situation came his way. You never know, there may be another Hale storm at the ACC tournament next week.