Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 27, 2009

BASKETBALL: Falls' Harris signs agent, 'on a mission'

Paul Harris feels like he has his Wolverine claws back.

Taking a break from workouts in Chicago with fellow Cataract City product Jonny Flynn in preparation for next month’s NBA draft, Harris said he’s regaining the mentality he had when he led the Niagara Falls Wolverines to a New York state Federation basketball championship in 2005.

Harris said Wednesday that he has signed with agent Leon Rose, eliminating any possibility he could return for his senior season at Syracuse. He and Flynn, who also signed with Rose, have been working out over the past couple weeks at the A.T.T.A.C.K. Athletics facility in Chicago, which is run by Michael Jordan’s former trainer, Tim Grover.

“About a week ago, I was telling Jonny I think I’m getting a little better down here,” Harris said. “He said, ‘It’s not that you’re getting better. You’re just getting your confidence back. You’re playing like you did in high school and AAU.’”

Harris was regarded as a slam-dunk NBA prospect when he left Niagara Falls to attend prep school in Massachusetts four years ago. But after three turbulent seasons at Syracuse, during which he had several outstanding performances but never attained all-conference honors and seemed to clash with coach Jim Boeheim, Harris embarks on his professional career as a player many analysts don’t expect will be drafted.

“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” Harris said. “I think it’s good being an underdog. My motto is: I’m going to shock the world. I’m going to be a sleeper in this draft. I’m telling you.”

Harris was excited about his performance in a recent workout for the Chicago Bulls that also included first-round wing prospects Terrence Williams of Maryland, Marcus Thornton of LSU, and Chase Budinger of Arizona. Harris said after the first workout, the Bulls asked him to participate in another one.

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