Tag:Josh Harrellson
Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: August 15, 2011 10:29 am
 

MADD must be proud of Josh Harrellson

By Gary Parrish

Josh Harrellson was among the fan favorites on last season's Kentucky team that made the Final Four -- and that was before he started stopping drunk drivers.

"About four or five of us guys jumped on the truck and reached in there and turned the keys off," Harrelson told WKYT while detailing how he and some friends recently stopped a drunk driver -- with children in the backseat -- from hitting a third vehicle. The man had already hit two vehicles in a parking lot moments after starting his car. One of those vehicles was Harrellson's truck.

"We were just worried because he could have put it in drive at any time and maybe ran somebody over, or while our arms were in the car, just kept going and we could have been drug or something," Harrellson said. "I'm the type of guy that, I want to make sure everybody else is alright. ... I'm fine. My truck got hit. That's replaceable. I was just thankful nobody got hurt and the kids were fine."

So add this to the list of impressive things Harrellson has done in the past year.

I'd even rank it ahead of the 23-point, 14-rebound effort he had at Louisville.

I bet MADD would, too.

Photo: AP
Posted on: December 31, 2010 6:30 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 9:24 pm
 

Josh Harrellson's career day sparks Kentucky

Jorts

Posted by Matt Jones
College basketball rivalry games are often defined by unlikely heroes who step up and deliver performances that immortalize them as legends of the program for years to come. And when it comes to unlikely heroes, very few have been more surprising than Josh Harrellson , who ensured he will never want for a free meal in Kentucky for the rest of his life after spurring UK to a 78-63 win over Louisville at the Yum! Center.  The man that Kentuckians call "Jorts" (due to an infamous picture taken of him wearing jean shorts on his recruiting visit) scored 23 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in an effort that even he labeled after the game as "shocking."  Shooting 10-for-12 from the field, Harrellson scored by doing what unlikely heroes do, being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of opportunities -- in this case, openings caused by double-teams on star Terrence Jones. His career night included an unlikely three-point bomb that led Jorts to hold three fingers up in the air and John Calipari to shake his head in disbelief.
 
Had one been guessing two months ago, the thought of Harrellson no longer being on the team would have seemed more likely than him being the key factor in a victory over an arch-rival.  After a solid performance in an exhibition game, Harrellson went on Twitter and complained that coach John Calipari did not give him credit for his game, instead focusing on Josh's mistakes in a post-game press conference.  Calipari responded to the criticism by publicly scolding Harrellson on Twitter and also instituting a series of early-morning workouts as punishment.  The coach required Harrellson to do six a.m. workouts every day and suggested that if Harrellson balked, his career with the Wildcats could be over.

What followed was a transformation of Harrellson's body and game so shocking that he hardly looks like the same person.  Whereas he was once a player that was big and bulky, his dramatic weight loss and newly-found muscles could potentially lead to an exercise tape called "Body by Jorts."  Whereas he was once a slow, lumbering big man best known for having a decent outside touch, now he is a figure that can be relied upon to control the glass and give UK a presence in the paint that seemed to be a lost cause going into the year.  For his part, Harrellson calls the Twitter fiasco, the "best thing that ever happened to me", as it changed his view of his role on the team from jokester who felt fortunate to be on the team, to a true contributor who can help create a victory.

Harrellson's contribution was by no means the only reason for Kentucky's victory.  In fact, the entire game showcased just how large a gap currently exists between the Cats and its arch rival .  Louisville looked tentative, slower and most significantly, substantially less-talented than their Kentucky opponents and at no point seemed likely to win the game.  Kentucky's Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones not only played better than Louisville, they looked to be on a different level than their Louisville counterparts.  Kentucky stopped Louisville's transition game by controlling tempo from the outset, thereby negating the Cards' best chance to pull off an upset and ensuring that the team with the best talent would win.  If Friday showed us anything, it is clear that team resides in Lexington.

All of which makes the performance by Harrellson that much more impressive.  Over the last two seasons, he has played on a team with eight players that either were, or are likely to be, first round NBA Draft picks.  He has consistently been overlooked on nearly every level, including being left off the team's pre-season poster given out to fans in order to make room for yet another highly touted Calipari draft class.  He was the classic afterthought, only a factor in this season because UK could not get Enes Kanter eligible or find another big man with more talent.  Yet that guy, the one that no one thought would ever make a difference, that guy had a career day against his team's biggest rival and made himself a name that will always be associated with a Card thrashing.

That is the stuff from which legends are made.  
 
 
 
 
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