St. Luke’s standout headed north
NEW CANAAN—There was never a question if Jonas Harper had the talent and drive to play at the next level, it was simply where he would end up.
The St. Luke’s combo-guard, who graduated this past June, took his time in making his decision and ended up with the right fit for him, Boston University.
“It was a long process, I committed pretty late but Boston University recruited me and offered when I was a junior and I feel most comfortable with that school,” Harper said. “It’s a great opportunity for me and my family; I’m not far from home, but I’m not too close and I’m comfortable with that system and I really like the coaches.”
St. Luke’s has been a sort of pipeline for Boston U over the past two seasons, as Harper will join rising-sophomore Walter Whyte—also a Luke’s product—with the Terriers next season.
“It’s great,” Harper said of reuniting with is former teammate. “He taught me a lot when I was at St. Luke’s. He talked to me about coaches and how (Boston U) plays, its similar to how we play at St. Luke’s, so it was a great fit. We already have that chemistry.”
For his part, Whyte shares Harper’s enthusiasm.
“I’m pretty excited,” Whyte said. “We have a great friendship and bond and chemistry on and off the court, so I’m looking forward to it. We know each other’s game really well, I played with him for three years and have been with him all his time at AAU too, so we have a really good relationship.”
Whyte was able to make a name for himself in his first year with the Terriers, and sees Harper as having the ability to do the same early in his collegiate career.
“He’s going to help right away because he plays defense,” Whyte said. “That will always get you on the court. And he’s a good playmaker.”
Harper is prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed, whichever end of the floor that might be end and for however long is required.
“I just want to do whatever’s necessary,” Harper said. “Whether it’s five minutes, 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Whatever’s necessary to win, I’ll do what I can to help.”
It can be argued that attitude is what ultimately factored in to propelling Harper to the next level. There’s no question he can play, he won three-straight FAA titles at St. Luke’s both as a facilitator and lead man, but his work ethic is what he and those around him sets him apart.
“They’re getting a hard worker that’s very coachable and always wants to learn,” Harper said in a scouting report of himself. “He’ll give his all every play and do whatever he can to win.”
While last year was Tony Newsom’s first year at the helm for St. Luke’s, he saw plenty to validate Harper’s statement.”
“They’re getting a very good player, someone who works extremely hard on his game,” Newsom said. “He’s competitive and I have no doubt that he’s going to have a great career up there.”
The Storm have developed over recent seasons as a program that can springboard to the next level, first under Drew Gladstone (now at Indiana) and now continuing with Newsom.
As nice as it is for coaches to have that reputation, Newsom maintains it has more to do with the young men going through the program than those leading it.
“It’s important and you like to be a part of it, but a lot of credit goes to the guys and their work ethic,” Newsome said. “It’s nice to say this player is going here, but it’s the time they put into it. I’m really happy for Jonas and his family, they’re terrific people and they’ve worked hard for this opportunity and he deserves everything that comes his way.”