It’s too early to accurately rank basketball players in the Class of 2016, but if they could be ranked, High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian Academy forward Harry Giles would be right near the top. Have doubts? Just click play on the highlight reel above.
Giles, a 6-foot-8, 205-pound freshman who led Wesleyan to a North Carolina Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 3A title, first began getting attention before he had even played a high school basketball game. Now that a season is under his belt, that interest has hardly abated.
Instead, the forward has closed out his first regular season and continued to dominant in the early stages of the spring invitational tournament season, earning major plaudits for his performance at the Dave Telep Carolina Challenge, among other tournaments.
Giles has more than enough athleticism to make him a bona fide, breakthrough collegiate prospect right now. Yet the freshman appears perfectly happy to bide his time in the recruiting game. He has already received scholarship offers from the likes of North Carolina, Wake Forest and Ohio State, not to mention significant interest from the likes of Duke and Georgetown.
That North Carolina scholarship is particularly notable, because it makes him the first freshman Williams has ever extended a scholarship to.
"I just [want to] go out there and do my best, and show people [who claim] that he may not be that good,” Giles told Rivals.com affiliate Tarheel Illustrated. “Some people say I'm good, and some people say I'm not good. I'm going to show them.
"No [I don't worry about the expectations]. I just play my game. I just play basketball. I don't believe the hype and stuff and let it worry me or get to me, and just play like I have something to prove."
Naturally, the attention will only ramp up from here. Giles is the first athlete in the Class of 2016 to be offered a scholarship by North Carolina coach Roy Williams. And with each visit he takes to gyms across the state and nation, both with his Chris Paul-organized AAU squad CP3 and on his own, Giles will earn more eyeballs and find the pressure ramping up.
Not that it will make a difference. Given the talent on display in the highlight reel above, it would likely take a whole lot more than pressure from recruiting attention to scare off a player the likes of Giles.