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Elzie Harrington Q&A

Five-star sophomore guard Elzie Harrington headlines a talented St. John Bosco (CA) roster that recently participated in the Capitol City Classic, an annual holiday high school tournament held in Salem, Oregon, each December. Despite falling short in the championship game to Jackson Shelstad and West Linn (OR), Harrington, his teammates Kade Bonam (highly-touted 2025 prospect), Jack Turner (2024 Loyola Chicago commit), and their supporting cast left a very positive overall impression on those in attendance, which included Pro Insight staff. Despite already flashing an advanced skillset in multiple areas, Harrington is also oozing with potential, hence the assigning of our ‘biggest upside’ superlative to the 2025 prospect at the conclusion of the event.

Throughout his team’s week in Oregon, we had the chance to spend some time with Harrington in an effort to get a better feel for his story on and off the court. As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Harrington discusses his family’s unique athletic background, how working out during quarantine changed his trajectory, his individual and team goals, the latest with his recruitment, thoughts on social media, and much more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Elzie Harrington, from Long Beach, California:

Pro Insight: To start things off, can you share a bit about your background? How did you get to where you are today?

Elzie Harrington: I started playing basketball at like 8 or 9 years old, just more as like a pastime, cause my sisters played volleyball. I was so bad until probably like 12 or 13 years old. Then during quarantine, my trainer — who’s more like family, now — he was probably the only person in Orange County with a gym open, so I was in there like every day like crazy hours. He was just trying to kill me every day, so that probably changed me the most. Then I came out of quarantine and went to Elite 100 Camp, I did solid there and then that kind of got me some pop. Then I found out about Bosco, and Coach Dunn has been great, trying to get the best out of me. And yeah, that’s pretty much it.

PI: At what point would you say you fell in love with the grind? Cause you don’t go from “sucking” to showing out at national events by accident.

EH: When I was younger, I used to love just being in the backyard dribbling and shooting — and not even on a real rim, like a little square thing — so that’s probably where the love started. And then in quarantine I was hating it! Cause I was getting beat up, getting killed, but I was seeing results. So the results are what got me through it. So I learned that it was going to take some sacrifice in order to get something out of it.

PI: Have you always been tall?

EH: Yeah, pretty much.

PI: So it’s just been a steady growth over the years?

EH: Yeah, I mean I used to play big until I was like 12 or 13. That’s probably why I’m a good passer, cause I would just play out of the high post and pass it a lot.

PI: You mentioned some athletes in the family with your sisters playing volleyball — what’s the extent of your immediate and extended family’s background in sports?

EH: My sister, she was really good at volleyball, she just wasn’t super tall…she’s like 5’6”. She played setter. She was really good, but she just stopped having fun with it, so she just stopped. She could’ve played D1. My dad, he played tennis in college, but he’s really active now — he’s riding his bike and running all over the place. My mom, she did some crazy sports…like skiing and all that. So there weren’t like mainstream sports that my family did, but they are all really active.

PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?

EH: Yeah, I played flag football, soccer and tee-ball.

PI: For those who haven’t seen you play before, how would you describe your game?

EH: I think it’s changed a lot. Coming into Bosco — I didn’t play AAU, at all, like high-level AAU — my game experience was very much recreational. So, I used to get into games and be scared to shoot the ball, I was real timid, I was just really a passer. So coming into high school, I focused on my defense and got a lot better, I’ve been getting to the rim a lot better this year — last year I was more of a shooter. But, yeah — I think now, I can get to the rima lot better, I can score at all three levels, I’m a playmaker, I can defend, I think I’m athletic, I can finish above the rim.

PI: What are the areas you feel you currently need to address the most?

EH: Consistent dominance throughout the game. I’ll like take breaks in the middle of games. I’ll have like four minutes and be dominant, then I’ll take four minutes off and that just can’t happen.

PI: What do you think is prohibiting 32 minutes of dominance per game?

EH: This is going to sound bad, but right now, we’ve been playing not-so-great competition early in the season, so it’s easier for me to not lock in.

PI: So just more of a mental thing?

EH: Yeah, yeah.

PI: Talk about your training regimen — you mentioned your trainer, earlier — what does your work ethic look like?

EH: Obviously it’s different right now in-season…and last year I was hurt, I broke my foot. So making sure I was back healthy was the biggest thing for a while. So during the week, we have practice, we lift three times per week, and then I’m probably shooting extra six days per week — and probably two of those days I really focus on skill work.

PI: Who would you say you model your game after and/or try to study on film?

EH: Ooh, man…I just try to take a lot from good people. Like right now, my favorite player is Ja Morant. I like how he just gets whatever he wants — he can shoot a floater or he can go dunk on somebody, he just does a lot. And then my coach, my trainer Jason, he sends me a lot of Kobe stuff talking about defense and how important it was for him to guard and all that stuff. But yeah, Ja Morant is the guy I’m really looking at right now.

PI: Would you rather hit a game-winner at home or on the road and why?

EH: Probably on the road. I like people being against me. That’s what it is most of the time, so it’s alright.

PI: Let’s talk a bit about some of your short term goals you have for yourself, individually.

EH: I’m trying to be Trinity League MVP and Sophomore Player of the Year in California. USA — so what happened, I got the invite to the first minicamp and I was hurt so I didn’t go, then I played in the summer and I wasn’t hurt but it was my first games back, so I was playing in the summer and they had another minicamp and I didn’t get invited to the most recent one. So I’m trying to make a statement and get invited to the next one. That would be super fun.

PI: How about your team goals?

EH: We’re going for everything. State Championship in the Open Division. Want to win Trinity League — we haven’t done that outright in a long time.

PI: Who’s the toughest individual you’ve ever had to face on the court?

EH: I could tell you someone who fried me over the summer…we played Team Takeover, it was bad! I don’t know any of their names, but Team Takeover 16U was abusing us. Some kid, he goes to AZ Compass now [Editor’s note: Marcus Allen], he played for the Florida Rebels, he’s nice. That’s my most recent tough matchup.

PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?

EH: So last year, my dad was big on me not getting distracted and all that stuff, and right now they still can’t officially necessarily call me, but my coach said he’s been hearing from schools like UCLA, USC, Stanford, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, stuff like that — he would know more than I can really think of. But yeah, UCLA offered me and I just posted about that.

PI: Did you have any dream schools growing up?

EH: When I was young, I wanted to go to Duke. I just thought it was like the Mecca of college, which it was.

PI: What was attractive about Duke?

EH: I just saw so many of their guys go to the NBA. That team with Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow that won the National Championship, that team.

PI: Are there any programs that you’d like to hear from or see get involved?

EH: If I’m being honest, my coach told me that there are certain programs that I’m not going to hear from until my junior or senior year — like they’re not going to offer me until they know they’re going to get me. So, schools like that, like the bigger schools, it would be great to see Kansas get involved, Duke, UNC, blue bloods like that.

PI: What’s your stance or your thoughts on the alternative pathways that have popped up in recent years, like OTE and G League Ignite?

EH: As far as — well first off, I hate the whole social media thing — I used to think players were so good and then you see them and play them in person and it’s just not always the case. So I really don’t like the whole social media part, but all the different opportunities I think it’s great. It’s giving kids an opportunity to make money or just do different things besides go to college. I think it’s cool.

PI: So you’d ultimately be open to those things if they become an option?

EH: Yeah, definitely.

PI: What will ultimately weigh the heaviest when it comes to your decision about your post-high school landing spot?

EH: Relationship with the coach, relationship with the teammates I’d be playing with — cause I feel like if the people around you don’t have confidence in you, you’re not going to have confidence in yourself. So I think those relationships with the people that are there is what’s most important to me.

PI: What are your biggest interests off the court? What are you most passionate about?

EH: Probably music.

PI: Who are you into?

EH: Drake, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, and G Herbo.

PI: If you’re stuck forever on a desert island and can only bring three items with you — what are you bringing?

EH: Man…probably like a Rubik’s Cube, or something, to keep me entertained. Like a TV with Netflix, probably. And then I don’t know, a jetski, or something.

PI: Best show on Netflix right now?

EH: I’m watching Wednesday, it just came out. I like reality TV, and it’s not on Netflix, but Love Island, Temptation Island, those shows.

PI: If you were to wake up tomorrow to see a fortune in your bank account, what’d be your first purchase?

EH: What’s a fortune…like no limit?

PI: Anything you want!

EH: I’m buying a company out, probably. Like Google. I’m buying Google.

PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself — what is it?

PI: Why?

EH: I think I show how I feel all the time.

PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career in hoops, what would you want to pursue?

EH: Own a business, probably. Something like that.

PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

EH: “If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.”

PI: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

EH: Lying.

PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?

EH: My dad.

PI: Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?

EH: I think probably an introvert. I mean — it’s just one of those things like if you know me, or not. I’m not going out of my way to talk to people I don’t know.

PI: Talk about a time in your life that you feel has really shaped who you are today.

EH: The whole quarantine experience, like, I’m talking about like three hours [per day] of just terror. I couldn’t breathe, I’m throwing up, stomach hurting. That work during quarantine definitely shaped me.

PI: Talk about a time in your life where you faced adversity. What happened and how did you respond?

EH: Probably the summer when I got hurt. This past summer. I feel like a lot of people, if they had the summer I had, they’d be very discouraged. A lot of people were talking and all that stuff. But I think the way I was able to turn it around by the beginning of fall season and Border League and all that — I’m proud of myself for doing that.

PI: What kept you motivated to keep pushing?

EH: Just my love for basketball.

PI: How would you define the word ‘success?’

EH: Ooh, that’s a good question. Being happy and content with what you’ve done and achieved.

PI: What’s something that most people have no idea about you?

EH: I can do magic. Like card tricks.

PI: What’s the biggest misconception you think people have about you?

EH: That I’m not a dog. Definitely that.

PI: What’s your dream NIL deal, and why?

EH: Probably headbands. I lose them a lot, I probably buy a pack every week. So, yeah.

PI: Where do you see yourself in five years?

EH: In the NBA in my first or second year, doing what I love to do — play basketball.

PI: What are four words that best describe you?

EH: Passionate. Chill. Motivated. Put-together.

PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?

EH: I like making people happy, making people smile — cause that makes me happy and I like being happy, too. So, just being positive and being encouraging and being good at basketball.


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