Athlete of the Week: Pat Harvey `03

Many who attended the first Harvard men's basketball game this season may have wondered who Pat Harvey was.

But after watching his steady improvement all season and witnessing his heroic feats last weekend, all of the fans that flock to Lavietes now know that they should expect big things from the sophomore guard.

Following a lackluster freshman campaign two years ago and some time off last season, Harvey has turned many heads this year as the starting shooting guard for the young Crimson team.

So far this season, Harvey has been impressive on both ends of the court. Offensively, Harvey is second on the team with 14.7 points per game and has set career-highs in both points and three-pointers in each of the last two weeks. On the other side of the ball, Harvey set the Harvard record for steals in a game with eight against Lehigh in the Crimson's first win.

However, it was his only steal last Saturday against Dartmouth that stands out as the defining moment of the year for Harvey and his Crimson teammates.

In the final seconds of Saturday's game, captain Dan Clemente drained a three-pointer to pull the Crimson within one point with 6.3 seconds left. Harvard called a timeout and needed a spectacular defensive play to even have a chance to win.

"At the end of the game, I looked at Pat and said, 'Give me a steal here, please,'" Clemente said, referring to his instructions in the huddle.

Harvey followed his captain's directions beautifully.

As Dartmouth's Flinder Boyd inbounded the ball, Harvey stepped in the way and made the crucial takeaway. Boyd fouled Harvey with 3.7 seconds left and sent him to the charity stripe with a chance to win the game.

With the enormous pressure of his team's hopes and the intense attention of over 1,000 spectators, Harvey calmly converted on both free throws to clinch the 79-78 win for the Crimson.

"There is no one else I would rather have on the line than Pat," said sophomore point guard Elliott Prasse-Freeman.

Harvey, who is second in the nation with a 96.4 percent free throw average, was just as stoic and understated after the game as he was at the line.

"We needed somebody to come up big," Harvey said. "The ball kind of bounced our way and we hit the big shots when we needed to."

The Crimson certainly hit the shots it needed down the stretch, but the fact remains that it was Harvey's individual performance which gave Harvard its first Ivy League victory.

Harvey's teammates realize that they must continue to work hard in the Ivy League to ensure that future games need not be won at the last minute.

"This game was our one gift this season," Prasse-Freeman said. "We played hard, but we have to go out and earn it from now on."

In this sense, "Pat's Pick" was a premature holiday present from Harvey to his team. It remains to be seen if the Crimson will have to rely more in 2001 on the heroics of one of its newest and brightest stars.