#parent | #kids | Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr ‘always going to do the right thing’

The NBA Draft-night plans for Ron Harper Jr. are simple: Hunker down with family, close friends and a home-cooked dinner at his Bergen County home in Franklin Lakes.

“We’re going to keep the circle tight like we always do, with people who have been along for the journey from day one,” his mother, Maria Harper, said. “No matter what happens, we will be celebrating Ronald for his accomplishments and being grateful we are in this conversation. How many kids can actually say they have a real chance at playing in the NBA for a living? We are celebrating that on Thursday.”

The former Don Bosco Prep and Rutgers University standout has appeared in several mock drafts as a late second-rounder. The last Rutgers grad to be drafted was 7-foot center Hamady N’Diaye in 2010. N’Diaye was selected by the Timberwolves in the second round, with the 56th pick, and traded to the Wizards. He played parts of three seasons.

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Rutgers' Ron Harper Jr. participates during the NBA draft combine at Wintrust Arena, May 18, 2022 in Chicago.

Harper is a better fit for today’s NBA. The 6-foot-6 forward shot 39.8 percent from 3-point range as a senior. He also averaged 15.8 points and 5.9 boards, earning second-team All-Big Ten and honorable mention All-America recognition. He’s a high-IQ player, versatile defender and good teammate.

“What I hope people can see is that he makes the right plays all the time,” Maria Harper said. “Whether it’s practice or a game or the pre-draft combine, he’s always going to do the right thing and hopefully somebody can see the value in that.”

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