Athlete Spotlight: Kenny Harrington
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
School: Saint John’s High School
Coach: Bob Foley
Saint John’s leading scorer from this past season (11.5 points per game) recently reflected on his successful high school career.
What are your earliest basketball memories?
My earliest memories are playing at Friendly House in Worcester. I started when I was in second grade, and it was my first organized basketball experience. I played there until seventh grade, and I feel that the program and coaches there shaped the player I am today.
You have three older brothers who all had successful high school basketball careers. Which one did you look up to the most?
I looked up to my brother Matt (Saint John’s, class of 2011) the most of all my brothers. Tim (Shrewsbury High School, class of 2005) and Chris (Saint John’s, class of 2006) were playing in high school when I was still really young, so I didn’t get to fully appreciate what they were doing. However, I got to see Matt play high school ball for two years when I was in seventh and eighth grade, and then I finally got to play with him for his final two years of high school. It was really special to play with such a great player, and leader. He just so happened to be my brother, too.
What made you choose Saint John’s over Shrewsbury High?
I got to watch Tim play at SHS, as well as Chris play at Saint John’s so I was on the fence about where I wanted to go. However, once Matt chose Saint John’s, I knew I wanted to play there with him. I saw it as a great chance to be on his team again. The time of my decision was also when the conference championship five-peat had started, so I wanted to be a part of that. Also, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play for the legendary Coach Foley, who I admired ever since Chris played for him.
Coach Foley is known for bringing the best out of his players, which other coach has encouraged you to succeed?
Denny Brigley from Friendly House was the coach that pushed me the hardest. He made into a tough player, and I have to thank him, and the other coaches I had at Friendly House, for turning me into the player I am today. In my more recent career, I have to say Coach Foley pushed me to succeed the most. Not only did he push me, but he taught me how to push myself to be the best player I could be.
What was the single most special game of your basketball career, and why?
The 2011 state championship against St. John’s Prep at the DCU Center. I was starting as a sophomore in the state finals, playing with my brother Matt, as well as Richard Rodgers. I got to guard the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year, Pat Connaughton (who now plays for the University of Notre Dame). It was the toughest assignment I’ve ever had, but it’s one of the greatest memories of my life.
What part of your game would you consider to be the best?
Outside shooting – I always played guard when I was young, so as I got older, and bigger, I kept my guard skills. Once I grew, I still had a great shot, but now had the length to shoot over defenders.
What other sports do you like to play/watch?
Basketball is the only sport I play, but I enjoy watching baseball and football. Basketball is really my only activity besides school.
What is your favorite class in school?
My favorite class is either environmental Science or engineering – I’ve always enjoyed math and science.
Who is your favorite NBA team? Player?
My favorite team is the Boston Celtics, and my favorite player is Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s my favorite because he played at Duke University (my favorite college team), and I think he’ll be the best point guard in the league in a couple years.
What type of legacy do you hope to be leaving at Saint John’s?
When I was younger, I always looked up to Saint John’s players like Ross Pentland, Mike Salerno, and Dave Curley. They played hard, and played the game it was meant to be played. I hope younger kids look at me the same way I looked at those guys. I never did anything real flashy. I wasn’t a trash talker. I just did what coach told me to do to the best of my ability and worked my hardest every play. That’s how I want to be remembered as a player. The same thing goes for my legacy as a person; I want to be remembered as a hard-working kid that was successful, yet humble.
This fall, Harrington will be attending Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where he will also be playing basketball.
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