Jason Jordan Basketball Editor 08/31/11
Sixth-grade phenom moves east to begin varsity basketball career
Damon Harge is the top sixth-grader in the country and will play varsity in North Carolina
Damon Harge Jr. isn’t old enough to get into a PG-13 movie, but his YouTube videos have enough views -- more than 1.5 million -- to make movie execs drool.
“It’s pretty crazy that he gets all of this attention at such a young age,” Damon Sr. said. “We keep him grounded and humble and always looking for new challenges.”
Next up? Varsity basketball in ACC country.
Harge, a 12-year-old phenom point guard widely regarded as the top sixth-grader in the country, will leave Modesto Christian Middle (Modesto, Calif.) and head for Tobacco Road in Raleigh, N.C.
|Photo Courtesy of Harge family
Despite regular double- and triple-teams, Harge (middle) has dominated all competition.
Harge will suit up for Christian Faith Center Academy (Creedmoor, N.C.) for his first year of varsity. The Conquerors finished 13-12 last season.
Harge will also run with the Raleigh-based North Carolina Rising Prospects AAU, which won the King James Classic and finished in the top 20 nationally this summer.
“I got a new opportunity professionally there,” Harge’s mother Camisha said of Raleigh. “It’s going to be a new challenge for Damon, but he’s ready for it.”
Added Damon Sr.: “We really wanted him to be in an area that’s all about basketball, and this situation seemed like the perfect fit for him.”
Even more perfect when Harge, standing just 5-foot-4 and 100 pounds, got guidance from his “favorite basketball player,” Washington Wizards point guard John Wall via Twitter on who Harge should play for.
“[John] told Damon all about coach Kendrick Williams at CFCA,” Damon Sr. said. “He said Coach K had taught him a lot when he coached him in high school in Raleigh and was still his mentor to this day. That’s all Damon needed to hear.”
Williams, in just in his second year at CFCA, said he’s “excited about the opportunity to coach another great player.”
“It’s a blessing,” Williams said. “To have the opportunity to help develop a player of his caliber at such a young age will be a tremendous responsibility. It’s something that I will take very seriously.”
Harge, who will report to CFCA in early October, isn’t at all concerned about the inevitable growing pains that lurk on the varsity level.
Makes sense since he averaged 31 points, five assists and five rebounds per game last season for Modesto Christian and had to stop playing because he wasn’t being challenged.
“I think that it will be good to play against older guys because it will only make me better,” said Harge, who broke the scoring record this past summer at adidas Junior Phenom camp by scoring 50 points with 17 assists. “I know that I have a lot to learn, but I’m excited to get over there and work hard. I wish I could be there now.”
For those who have never heard of Damon Harge, he was posted about a long while ago as a 5th-6th grade phenom. I will give zero predictions about his future as a basketball prospect, or where he actually should be ranked in his class (at this point, rankings are fairly ridiculous), but he seems like a player to keep an eye on. Very skilled for his age and called highly advanced for his age considering his skill set. As a 5'4 player going into the 7th grade (believe me, I wish I had been that tall), the fact that you can ball for a varsity HS team is incredibly impressive. Best of luck, he is not the first player to play varsity before he was in 9th grade (Yes, I know OJ Mayo and Tweety Carter, plus others, have done it as well), but as I said, just something to keep an eye on. Here are a couple of his You Tube vids:
This kid is really talented i live in Greenville,NC i don't know how far it is from where he is playing but i would love and go watch him, I remember watching his highlights when they first was released and thought this kid has tremendous talent and works very hard I wish the best for him and his crossovers are sick.
It's impossible to predict how good this kid is gonna be, but playing varsity ball in 7th grade is extremely rare and very impressive, so I wish him the best of luck. By the way, O.J Mayo was 6'0 in 7th grade. I'm not hating on Damon Harge. I just wanted to let you guys know that tidbit of information.
lol, Kidding. Yeah, I knew that OJ was tall at a young age. Still, I have no idea his parents heights or his genetics, but being 5'4 going into 7th grade is not horrible. I guess we can assume he might not be one of those crazy early developers. Kendall Marshall was 5'1 and 90 pounds, ranked the #1 5th grader. He ended up with really nice size for a PG. Who knows what happens here, but I am guessing at least some basketball players do not reach their full heights by 9th grade.
lmao, that kid is way too small for varsity basketball
That, especially in HS basketball, if you are fast and skilled, the problems are not insurmountable. Aquille Carr is small, albeit older and stronger, but he was dominating. If the kid is good enough to get off his own shot (which I think is entirely possible) and willing to give it his all on defense, my guess is that at the very least, he could PLAY varsity basketball. Whether he will be a star right off the bat is yet to be determined, but it certainly will not hurt to play against older, more physical competition. Should only help his game and development, and hopefully keep him humble. More so than scoring 50 points per game in middle school probably would. Also, those are pretty old videos. As I said, we will see how it goes.
Yeh but OJ was 14 years old in the 7th grade so he was basically a freshman
This kids handle is dope. For any age this kid has handle.
MikeyV I agree with you 100%, and the Aquille Carr comparison as far as impact (where you said older and stronger), this kid does not possess the same attributes, but impact can be the same. His handle is ridiculous for his age, let alone a senior in high school to be honest. It really looks like he has the ball on a string.
He also seems to make the extra (correct) pass at all times just going off of these highlights. I know highlights are far from the be all end all, but you can pick up certain player attributes from them. That's a very good sign for a kid his age to be unselfish, especially when he could be so dominant consistently scoring the ball.
This kid will grow, and if he really loves the game he will get quicker and more athletic. I know that a lot of that is genetics, but also a good portion of being quick and a good run and jump athlete is working at it on a daily basis.
This kid has good potential, and in a way that is usually different than most prospects. Most prospects are raw at the skills and fundamentals of hoops but above average athletes. This kid is well above average fundamentally and skilled wise, I just hope the athleticism catches up with the skill, and it should as he reaches his latter parts of his high school career.
I wish him the best and hope that is becomes a highly ranked young fella that continues to be among the top prospects, and not fall off in the latter part of his high school career.
Crazy handle. But man he seems small to be playing varsity. Can you imagine what you would have thought if this kid had tried to guard you when you were a senior in high school?
Even if this kid struggles in his 1st year of varsity ball who cares, he will have 5 years left and gain great experience. Why should he dominate his age group when he can challenge and better himself by playing up with older kids. Win win situation
Harge has a very bright future ahead of him. When I watch this guy theirs a lot to like. What impresses me most about him is his vision hes able to attack a spot at any given moment or create needed space to dribble or dish out. Very capable scorer, but prefers involving others which also is something to like. He has a smooth jumper with a textbook follow through. You guys can knock him for his height, but hes only a kid guys remember that. I think he fills out to about 6'3.5-6'3.7 185-190. Keep an eye on this one guys.