By: Greg Levinsky
Jonas Harper announced his commitment to the Boston University Men’s Basketball program on Monday. The former St. Luke’s and PSA Cardinals standout joins the Terriers in what is now a 6-man class of players with freshman eligibility, joining Alex Vilarino, Jack Hemphill, Jordan Guest, Garrett Pascoe and Fletcher Tynen.
The 6-2 point guard took the time for a Q&A with WTBU Sports after announcing his commitment.
Greg Levinsky: You played with rising sophomore Walter Whyte both in high school at St. Luke’s and on the AAU circuit with the PSA Cardinals, how close are you guys and how do you feel to be reunited once again?
Jonas Harper: I’m pretty close with Walt. I talk to him almost every day. I think we’re going to do really well this year. We’ll have a great team, and I think we’re going to have great chemistry. I talk to him a lot and played with him at PSA for AAU. I think things are going to go really well this year.
GL: How much did your friendship with Walter Whyte entice you to come to BU?
JH: That’s a little part of why I came, knowing someone inside that’s really comfortable with the program. Walt also talked to me a lot about the coach and the team and stuff like that. How they play, how it’s similar to the way I play. It definitely helped.
GL: You were a relatively late add for a 2022 commit, how did you end up committing to BU nearly in July?
JH: It was a long process I had with my family, a lot of hard decisions we had to go through. It was pretty late deciding and getting accepted into school. Coach Jones definitely helped out – a lot. He influenced everything. He helped me the whole time. I’d say I’d thank him the most. Without him and the admissions at school, I wouldn’t be here today. I thank him the most for accepting me and bringing me in.
GL: You’re coming into a team that has just one senior and four total upperclassmen. How much of an opportunity do you see to play right away?
JH: I just want to help the team win. I don’t know how I’m going to start out. Hopefully I can play right away and get some minutes. Whatever I can do to help the team win is what I’m here for. If that means playing fewer minutes, like five or 10 per game to start off, cheering on my teammates and people ahead of me, then that’s what I have to do to help my team win. Anything that I can do to help.
GL: Describe the way you play, is there anyone that you model your game after?
JH: I would say I’m a playmaker, and I can hit shots. I’m just an all-around player, pretty much. I do what the coach wants me to do. If he needs me to play defense on their best offensive player, I can do that. I can assist. If you need me to score, get a bucket, I can do that. I’m pretty much anything the coach wants me to do, and I’m going to try and do it my best in order for us to win the game. I would say I’m an all-around player.
I compare myself to Jeff Teague a little bit in the NBA. Just the way he plays the game slowly. He’s patient and knows when to take his shots. He never forces anything and can knock down open jump shots, and set up teammates when he has to. I compare myself to that, and a little of Damian Lillard. Always ready to get a bucket, and he always has that mindset to go into every game confident and just plays as hard as he can.
GL: When did BU come about during your recruiting process and how did it happen?
JH: BU offered me my junior year after a PSA showcase. Then, I got a call from Coach Jones, I think after the second or third game of the season. I’ve always been in contact with them. They’ve been watching over me this past year, my senior year, and I’ve been talking to them a lot.
GL: What other schools were on your radar and what put BU over the top?
JH: It was a lot of Patriot League schools. With BU, it’s really family oriented and the coaches really helped me. I’m really comfortable with the school, and I obviously know Walt, he’s definitely helped. They were really honest with me, and I would say Coach Jones gave me a chance when nobody else would, and I appreciate that. That’s what made the decision, pretty much.
GL: If you could upset any team in the NCAA Tournament, who would it be, and why?
JH: I would say… Probably Duke. Just because they have a great team with Coach K and all of them. That’s like a dream come true, to upset a really top team. I would say someone like that, Duke or Kentucky, teams that you look up to when you’re really young, dream schools like that.