Michigan State guard Gary Harris (left) and Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III exit the arena after watching the Atlanta Hawks play against the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their playoff series on April 19 in Indianapolis. / Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO — For years, Glenn Robinson III and Gary Harris have found a balance between being adversaries and friends.
Robinson grew up in St. John, Ind., and Harris in Fishers, about 150 miles apart.
Rising through their high school careers, Harris won the coveted Indiana Mr. Basketball Award during their senior year in 2012, but Robinson was the higher-ranked Rivals.com recruit.
As opponents, they measured their progress against each other, even with Robinson as a forward and Harris a guard, and they chose competing schools — Robinson to Michigan and Harris to Michigan State.
But there always was a bond.
“We grew up playing against each other on the AAU circuit, played against each other in high school, we were friends before he chose Michigan and I chose Michigan State, and we had that whole rivalry in college,” Harris said this past week at the predraft NBA combine in Chicago. “Now for us to have the same agent, go through the same process, training together, it’s good to have somebody going through it with you.”
While Harris is projected as a lottery pick, probably one of the top-10 picks in next month’s NBA draft, and Robinson as a high second-round pick, they’ve been able to endure the buildup together.
Both signed with Creative Arts Agency and agent Aaron Mintz, so the bulk of their training has been near CAA’s base in Los Angeles.
Though Robinson and Harris have college teammates going through the same process, they have leaned on each other.
“A lot,” Robinson said. “Whether it’s just talking about where we kind of see ourselves fitting in or where we think we could go in the draft, just having someone like that (to trust). We hang out together after workouts. Being out in Los Angeles, we go and see some of the city or something like that. He’s one of the few, growing up with him and playing basketball with him, he’s one of the few who kind of know each other.”
Having that trust is important in the process — since in workouts the guy across from you is trying to take your draft spot.
So being able to bounce stuff back and forth and vent is helpful.
“We do share a lot of stuff with each other, what he experiences and what I experience,” Harris said.
Their next step will be shifting their training to St. Vincent Sports Performance’s NBA predraft training program in Indianapolis as they prepare for the final stretch leading up to the June 26 draft.