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How the Harrison Twins Fit Perfectly into “La Familia”


It’s become a “thing” for high school recruits to make their college choice announcement somewhat of a spectacle. ESPNU television specials have become commonplace, and at the pinnacle of it, we had Nerlens Noel and his flat top. Don’t get me wrong- I love the hype, love the excitement, love the (ugh) swag it showcases. However, after I got over my mild shock and elation at hearing the Harrison twins verbally commit to UK, I noticed something. Take a look:



What do you see in this picture? Besides that hot pink iPad cover, of course. My mom pointed this out to me: the twins were sandwiched by their parents. Symbolically framed by the two people closest to them and most invested in their well-beings. Nerlens’ or Shabazz’s parents weren’t sitting right beside them when they announced their college choice, but it sends a great message on the Harrison twins’ parts.


When we first started following the twins’ recruitment, we quickly learned that family is a value that’s held close to their hearts. The two are by all accounts inseparable;despite living in a six-bedroom house and Aaron and Andrew being the only children, they still sleep in the same room. And it appears that their parents share the same camaraderie. As… interesting as their dad has been during recruitment, it’s impossible to deny that he is passionate about his sons and their future success. He’s Papa Bear to the max. Their mom, like any good mom, is more concerned about their schoolwork, telling ESPN that when it came to what sold her on Kentucky, “I liked the wall with the GPA of the players on it. The GPA of the players that went to the NBA was great, and they are continuing to work toward getting their degrees.”


So why does that make them a perfect fit for Kentucky? At Calipari’s hands, the “La Familia” mentality reigns supreme. The staff and players are a close knit group, and the goal of the program is “players first.” Like any family, everyone is doing their best to help the others succeed and achieve their goals. Players refer to each other as brothers, coaches refer to the players as sons, and Mrs. Cal makes brownies for everyone. The Harrison twins will be leaving their small Texas bubble to leap onto the national scene- yet they’ll still have the family atmosphere to rely on during a difficult transition time. The twins’ inclusion of their parents on the national stage of their college announcement was a touching tribute to all the work their parents have done throughout the years to ensure their success, and it bodes well for the twins’ success at Kentucky and beyond.


A video entitled “Family Ties” goes a little deeper into how the twins’ closeness has facilitated their success on the basketball court. Take a look:



Welcome to the family, guys. You made the right choice.




Article written by Kristen Geil

19 Comments for How the Harrison Twins Fit Perfectly into “La Familia”

  1. 9time
    5:21 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Too bad Bomani just got booted off Around the Horn. Wanted to hear his take on these guys.

  2. Scott Speedman
    5:22 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Kristen bringing it as always! Great work!

  3. bigmeat
    5:22 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    wonder if they have any other siblings?

  4. Anthony
    5:33 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Not surprised one bit by their dad being in the limelight with his sons. He seems to covet it more than they do.

  5. Chicago Chris
    5:36 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Despite dad’s Maryland leanings, he’s now the father of two UK BBall players. Fans should embrace him. I’m pretty sure he’ll be wearing lots of blue.

    That said, I could understand half the audio in the video… it was like a speaker would make a point and then switch their point mid-sentence and then mumble something and fade out.

  6. CaptObivous
    5:40 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve been out of high school for many years, so pardon the ignorance….so kids play AAU in the summer, right? And then play for their high school team in the winter. So then most kids generally train and condition year round with the high school team. OK..but for elite guys, who is their real allegience to? AAU or High School? Which Coach (and teammates) does he generally take the advice of? Seems with most all these elite guys, the actual high school coach seems to be an afterthought. Will there be a time coming soon when many of these kids don’t even bother to play actual high school basketball?

  7. Big Blue 66
    5:52 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    6. youre right, AAU ball is what it is because of the NCAA contact period restrictions and it allows college coaches to watch elite players against competition instead of some 5’6″ kid from hickory. Having said that, I bet you see the US go more toward a european model where they have “clubs” or basically year round AAU teams and high school teams will be done away with or at least left to players not going division 1

  8. Rose
    5:53 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Wonder if our GPA would be higher if our players had majored in Swahili?

  9. Chris
    6:02 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #6 – The same holds true for many sports. High School baseball is followed much more during the summer by college coaches. This allows a coach to attend a summer ball game and see several prospects, not just the 1 player they are focused on. Also consider, that during HS basketball season, the college coach is pretty busy coaching the college team. Therefore, they have much more time to recruit and visit with players during the AAU season (spring and summer).

  10. JethroBandit
    6:13 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Did no one else notice that Aaron dressed to match his dad and Andrew dressed to match his mom?

  11. Dave Ball
    7:02 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison Sr’s sole job as a father is to protect and teach his children…he seems to have done a great job…and like any father, he wanted to see his sons matriculate to a school where HE would feel comfortable…so what…he’s earned that right by BEING A GOOD DAD…did he look a little disappointed that his sons made the decision to go to UK? perhaps…but only for a bit…he taught them to be strong young men and to be able to make their own decisions…to that point he’s as proud as a father should be…once he experiences the Final Four clad in blue (i.e Anthony Davis’ parents) he will realize that his sons made the right decision…as of now…he’s part of La Familia as well

  12. Jim
    7:11 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    When is the NCAA going to release a report on Corey Maggette? Do they have to do that before they investigate the Thomas guy from Duke?

  13. Bob Knight
    7:24 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    None of those 2013 recruits have attended one class at UK since they announced they were going there. Shameful academic record!

  14. bmt22033
    8:16 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    @3 – their father said in the video that they’re his only kids.

  15. bmt22033
    8:17 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    @11 – well spoken, sir!

  16. RealCatsFan
    8:55 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #11 nailed it. I think it is admirable that Aaron and Andrew actually have their father as a role model in their lives. So many kids in the basketball (and football) circles come from very tough environments, and a lot of them do not have their father in their lives. Mr. Harrison is setting a commendable example for others to follow – be there for your kids! I bet MKG would like to have had his father (and surrogate father) in his life today like the Harrison twins have theirs. We, as basketball fans, need to respect the fact that the senior Mr. Harrison wants to be a part of his sons’ lives.

  17. UK Freshmen
    10:15 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    So it’s almost like they are a real (w*ite) family. Wow.

  18. CH32
    10:48 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    “I got a 6 bedroom house, and those guys sleep in the same room and they’re my only children” haha love it

  19. Hostess Ho Ho
    6:29 am October 6, 2012 Permalink