The Marshall County Hoopfest on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, featured many of the top amateur players in the nation and matchups that certainly did not disappoint.
Several UK recruits made the trip to Benton, Ky., to showcase their talents in front of the 4,000-plus fans who crammed into what is one of the more impressive high school gyms in the country at Marshall County High School.
Future Cats Aaron and Andrew Harrison were on hand at the 17th annual high school basketball festival, playing their first games in Kentucky since the package deal signed to play for UK head coach John Calipari in November.
“The weekend has been great,” Aaron said during a pre-game press conference Saturday. “The fans have been great. Everywhere we went people have known us.”
The twins began the press conference by identifying who was who to avoid the confusion that the scorer’s table dealt with during Friday night’s game against Louisville Ballard.
“It doesn’t really happen all that much at home. But I’m sure yesterday a lot of people were confused,” said Aaron. “We had three different scorers. They gave me some of Andrew’s rebounds and him some of my points. It was all right though.”
Regardless of the confusion, the Harrison twins’ Travis High School found themselves in the midst of a battle with the in-state Bruins.
It was almost midnight local time when Travis wrapped up a 78-76 win over Ballard in a match-up that displayed both brother’s aggressiveness and intensity on the court.
Aaron Harrison’s performance earned him the game MVP award after the win, but it was Louisville Ballard’s Quentin Snider, a 2014 U of L commit, who nearly stole the show.
Snider, a 6-foot-1 point guard, finished with 28 points, six rebounds and six assists for the No. 1 ranked Bruins in a fearless effort against Travis.
“I think some of (our players) were nervous and stuff, but I think we came along at the end,” Andrew Harrison said of Friday’s win. “I missed a couple of clutch free throws, but my teammates stepped up in the end. Quentin is a pretty good player and he played well last night. ”On Saturday, Travis beat another Kentucky team, Madison Central, 64-57.
Aaron Harrison scored just three points as he spent the majority of the game on the bench after getting into early foul trouble.
Andrew Harrison picked the team up while his brother looked on. The 6-foot-6 point guard recorded 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, all while bullying his team to victory.
Off the court though, the twins are anything but bullies. The best guards in high school basketball spent hours of their time in Benton signing autographs and interacting with fans, further proving that there is much more to the twins than playing basketball.
“I didn’t know basketball was this important down here,” Aaron said. “But it is a great fan base, probably the best fan base in the world.”
By the end of the weekend, Cats’ fans were raving about the respect and high character both Aaron and Andrew Harrison carried themselves with.
The twins gave much of the credit to their father, Aaron Harrison Sr., a military veteran.
“He is not like most parents, like he doesn’t try to be our friend,” Andrew said. “Just because we play basketball he’s not like … he still makes us respect authority and clean up our room. We do whatever he says.”