“There’s Duke, Kentucky, UConn — all the big programs — but why not be a trail blazer and stay home?” asked New Jersey prep basketball phenom Dylan Harper, as the Don Bosco High School star and son of 5-time NBA champion Ron Harper revealed he’d be attending Rutgers University, the Big Ten school in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
But Harper didn’t get to break the news himself, it turns out, despite scheduling an event to make his announcement at Fanatics headquarters to livestream the news. The breaking was done instead by NBA reporter and all-around hoops insider Adrian Wojnarowski, who jumped the line to tell the world on X that the young Harper was the newest Scarlet Knight.
And Woj, as he’s known, broke the news (and protocol?) to the great dismay of Dylan’s father Ron and brother Ron Jr., a Rutgers alum who’s now with the Toronto Raptors.
Don Bosco (N.J.) Prep guard Dylan Harper — the No. 2 prospect in the ESPN Class of 2024 — is committing to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, he tells ESPN. Harper is making public that decision at the @Fanatics offices in New York shortly. pic.twitter.com/lJxtxmcFtQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 6, 2023
Both big brother and dad were mad about Wojnarowski stealing Harper’s Rutgers selection thunder and said so commenting on the post. The senior Harper, who won titles with the Bulls and Lakers, wrote: “That was some BS that you pull today @wojespn I will catch up with you one day I promise….”
That was some BS that you pull today @wojespn I will catch up with you oneday I promise….— Ron Harper (@HARPER04_5) December 7, 2023
Others agreed, though they didn’t sound so threatening, with a typical response being “Woj didn’t care about letting the kid have his moment.” Another wrote: “So you not going to let him announce it smh.”
But New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was so excited to learn that the Jersey kid — ranked the #2 overall hoop prospect in the country by ESPN — was staying in The Garden State that he retweeted Woj’s post, despite the controversy around the reporter posting it early. Murphy added a big dose of Jersey pride and anticipation in captioning his share.
“Congrats Dylan!” Murphy wrote. “We are thrilled for @RutgersMBB to have you and Ace — two of the top five players in the entire country — in its historic recruiting class. This is a big deal for Rutgers basketball and New Jersey. Go Scarlet Knights!” (Murphy refers to Ace Bailey, another star Rutgers commitment, out of Georgia.)
Here’s young Dylan, btw, doing the opposition dirty in some very high highlights. Murphy’s excitement is easy to understand.
Dylan Harper — ESPN's No. 2 player in the 2024 high school class — told @wojespn he's committed to Rutgers. The 6-foot-6, 17-year old son of Bulls great Ron Harper Sr. possesses outstanding passing ability, scoring versatility and all-around basketball instincts. pic.twitter.com/zd3sGr9ME3— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) December 6, 2023