Deep in Auburn lore besides stories of Bo and the man they call Cam there is the tale of an “undersized“ Auburn point guard whose hard work helped him prove his doubters wrong time and time again.
People said he was too small to be successful at the college level, he proved them wrong and helped lead Auburn to the first Final-Four appearance in school history.
This same point guard did not receive an invite to the NBA Combine, but after impressive scrimmage performances in the G League Combine, he got an NBA Combine invite.
Now, this same point guard is looking to make an NBA roster and started the process of proving his doubters wrong again on Sunday night.
The point guard in question? Jared Harper.
Harper and the Suns' summer league debut was delayed until Sunday after an earthquake struck California on Friday night. The quake caused the remainder of the Las Vegas summer league games for the day to be canceled due to fan and player safety after the arena's scoreboard, and speaker system began swaying as a result of the earthquake.
The Suns were set to square off against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, but that game was outright canceled with no make-up game scheduled.
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The debut would have to wait until Sunday, and the wait was well worth it. The Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks squared off in a wild back-and-forth game Sunday night on ESPN. The Suns ultimately won it 105-100 in overtime.
Harper was not only playing in his first summer league game, but he was also starting at point guard in his first summer league game.
He made the most of his starting opportunity finishing the game with 19 points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals. He did all of this in 33 minutes of game time.
The game was reminiscent of Harper's Auburn games with the all-around stat sheet. The only difference is that in the summer league debut, Harper was uncharacteristically 0-for-4 from beyond the arc.
The Georgia-born point guard shot 6-of-15 from the field and was nearly perfect on his free throws going a solid 7-of-8 from the line. Also, his four assists were a team-high on the night.
During the second quarter of Sunday's game, ESPN's broadcast team spoke with the Suns General Manager, James Jones, and when asked about Harper and what he thought about the former Auburn guard, he had this to say.
"I look at him every day during the summer, when we are practicing, I'm just in awe, how hard he goes and just how he impacts the game. I like him a lot. I think he's got a bright future."
After Jones' second-quarter interview with ESPN, Harper scored 11 points, dished out one more assist and recorded two steals in the second half.
Harper's debut was an all-around success, and he will look to follow it up when the Phoenix Suns take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m. CST.
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