By Jonah Bronstein
Paul Harris slammed home alley-oop passes from Jonny Flynn in high school and college. Now he hopes to do the same in an NBA-sanctioned summer league.
Harris said Monday that he will accept an offer to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the upcoming NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where Flynn will also make his professional debut after Minnesota made him the sixth overall pick in last week’s NBA draft.
After participating in a Cleveland Cavaliers minicamp over the weekend, Harris said he called his agent, Leon Rose, and told him he was picking the Timberwolves over the Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls.
“I think it’s a great fit for me,” Harris said at Monday’s Niagara Falls City Council meeting, where Flynn was presented with a key to the city. “Me and Jonny will be reunited again. It’s a good opportunity.”
The 21-team summer league runs July 10 through 19, and will feature many of the first-round picks from the past two drafts.
Harris, a powerfully-built 6-foot-3 swingman, and Flynn, an explosive 6-foot point guard, helped Syracuse University go 49-24 over the past two seasons. Last year, Flynn led the Orange in minutes played, points, assists and steals, while Harris was the team’s top rebounder.
In 2005, Harris led Niagara Falls High School to its first state championship, and Flynn was a sophomore starter for a Wolverines team that finished the season ranked No. 3 in the country by USA Today.
After Monday was proclaimed Jonny Flynn Day in Niagara County, and he was showered with several ovations, Flynn made sure the group of more than 300 supporters also showed their appreciation for Harris.
“Paul took me along to the ABCD Camp, and the Reebok Camp, when I was unheard of. He had so many guys he could’ve picked from, but he knew there was something special about me,” Flynn said.
“I have so much love for him, for doing that for me. He’s like the brother I never had, and I just want to say I love you for that.”
Harris then walked up to the podium to hug Flynn.
“Me and Jonny are always going to be close,” Harris said afterward. “I knew he was going to do that. That’s the kind of person Jonny Flynn is.”
E-mail reporter Jonah Bronstein at email@example.com