First Recruit Commits to Harvard

Published by Dennis J. Zheng on September 09, 2010 at 10:11PM

Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker has secured his first recruit in the class of 2011. Jonah Travis, a 6’6, 220-lb combo forward at DeLaSalle High School (Minneapolis, Minn.) verbally committed to the Crimson last month.

Carrying about 20 Division-I offers from schools across the country—including Cornell, Northwestern, Boise State, Wofford, Lafayette, Bowling Green, and Miami of Ohio—Travis is rated a 90 by ESPN and No. 44 at his position nationally.

“He should be a great pick-up for Harvard,” said Kevin Alsteens, editor of Twin Cities Boys Hoops, where he has Travis ranked fourth in the Minnesota class of 2011. “‘Relentless’ is probably the one word I‘d use to describe him—either that, or ‘fearless.’ One hundred percent effort all the time, a great motor.”

Called by the NBE Basketball Report “a long kid with athleticism and three-point range,” Travis said his role with the Crimson will likely be that of a three or four, depending on the match-up.

Jeremy Miller, Travis’s coach on the AAU squad Pump N Run, agreed with the hard-nosed forward’s assessment of his game.

“If he gets a chance to play the four, I think coaches will pull him away from the basket and let him take bigger guys off the bounce, which he’s very capable of doing,” Miller said. “He’s going to be able to finish over bigger and stronger players with his strength and his athleticism. And if you put any guy 6’6” or smaller on him, he will destroy anyone on the block his height or smaller.”

“He’s the best rebounder in Minnesota—he’s great on the offensive glass and the defensive glass,” Miller added. “He brings a toughness to any team that he plays for. The coaches that were recruiting him this past spring said that he plays harder than anyone that they saw all summer. The kid just doesn’t know any other way than full speed. He’s athletic, he’s great in the paint, and he’s developing his perimeter skills—taking guys off the bounce and his outside shooting.”

Travis said the main factor behind his decision was his unofficial visit to campus during early August.

“I got to experience everything, got to talk with the coaches, had a great time with the coaches,” Travis said. “The number one overall thing was probably the coaching staff...I really got to feel how I would be treated and how badly they wanted me there. I just couldn’t say no. Everything was just so great—I just loved it out there.”

Travis will be returning to Cambridge next weekend to accompany the high-level trio of recruits that Amaker is welcoming to campus.

“I’ve been texting Andre Hollins a couple times,” Travis said. “Hopefully we can get him in a jersey with me.”

Kenyatta Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie are also expected to visit.