Tobias Harris: Coming to a Gym Near You

Mark your calendar. Thursday, Dec. 17 at 5:45 p.m.

That’s the season opener for the Half Hollow Hills West boys basketball team. The Colts hit the road to face host Eastport-South Manor. It’s also the only glimpse you’ll get of New York’s best basketball player until after the New Year.

Tennessee-bound Tobias Harris is the rarest of sights on Long Island. He’s a transcendent player. The 6-8 senior is considered a top five recruit nationally and the most gifted talent the region has seen since Danny Green (St. Mary’s) and A.J. Price (Amityville) heated up gyms.

Both are in the NBA now. And if father-handler-promoter Torrell Harris Sr. can be believed, then Tobias Harris will jump to the NBA after two seasons of college ball. That’s the plan.

But Harris’ promise recalls another Long Island great: Jason Fraser. The 6-9 Amityville star created a buzz not equaled the last two decades as he led the Warriors on a path to a second straight state championship in 2002. He signed autographs before games, dunked ferociously on foes and no one ever raised an eyebrow when Amityville won by 50 points.

Running up the score? No, the Warriors were simply that good.

Injuries took a toll on Fraser’s pro ambitions. His heyday was in an Amityville uniform, and anyone lucky enough to see him play won’t forget him anytime soon, even if the rest of the basketball world has.

Here is your shot to see the latest and greatest hoops star from Long Island.

In case you forgot, Harris led unheralded Hills West to an undefeated regular season as a sophomore and then claimed the program’s first Suffolk Class AA championship. He transferred to Long Island Lutheran for greater basketball exposure and got it in spades. Harris guided LuHi to a state Federation Class A title last March and then promptly transferred back to Hills West.

This encore season with Hills West includes an added bonus. Tyler Harris is a fast-rising junior who would probably be getting even greater
attention if he weren’t playing in the shadow of big brother.

Tobias Harris opens the season as a finalist for the Naismith Award, which goes to the nation’s top high school boys basketball player.

So warm up the car and get ready to follow the Harris Victory Tour as it makes a stop at a high school near you, from Riverhead to Deer Park – and maybe, just maybe the state Final Four at the Glens Falls Civic Center in March.

HALF HOLLOW HILLS WEST BASKETBALL SCHEDULE 2009-2010

DATE OPPONENT TIME
12-17-09 @EASTPORT 5:45 p.m.
1-5-10 @COPIAGUE 4:00 p.m.
1-7-10 DEER PARK 6:00 p.m.
1-12-10 @RIVERHEAD 5:45 p.m.
1-14-10 WEST BABYLON 6:00 p.m.
1-16-10 @ Springfield, Mass. 1:30 p.m.
HOOP HALL CLASSIC vs. Sacred Heart, Conn.
1-18-10 @ Baruch College 5:45 p.m.
BIG APPLE CHALLENGE vs. Bishop Loughlin, N.Y.
1-19-10 SMITHTOWN WEST6:00 p.m.
1-21-10 EASTPORT 6:00 p.m.
1-24-10 @ West Virginia University 12:00 p.m.
PRIME TIME SHOOTOUT vs. Chester, Pa.
1-25-10 @ BELLPORT 7:00 p.m.
1-28-10 COPIAGUE 6:00 p.m.
1-30-10 @DEER PARK 1:45 p.m.
2-02-10 RIVERHEAD 6:00 p.m.
2-04-10 @WEST BABYLON 5:45 p.m.
2-08-10 BELLPORT 6:00 p.m.
2-10-10 @SMITHTOWN WEST 5:45 p.m.
2-14-10 @ Trenton, NJ 3:30 p.m.
PRIME TIME SHOOTOUT vs. Christ the King, N.Y.
2-19-10 SUFFOLK PLAYOFFS

jason molinet

Jason Molinet spent three years at Patch.com as regional editor and was a reporter at Newsday for a decade. He is a four-time Press Club of Long Island award winner. Molinet celebrates his Cuban heritage, reads Ernest Hemingway and roots for the Miami Heat.