By Eric Garland
COLLEGE PARK, Md.—Despite their father's overwhelming ties to the Maryland area, Andrew and Aaron Harrison ended years of suspense by committing to Kentucky over the Terps.
But just because his talented twins became Wildcats, that doesn't mean their father, Aaron Harrison Sr. has forgotten where he came from.
Harrison Sr. was born and raised in the Baltimore area. He attended Patterson High School, where he played basketball with Maryland assistant coach Bino Ranson, before moving to Texas to join the military.
In addition, Harrison Sr. praised Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon on how the coach handled the death of a recruit while at Texas A&M.
"He did some things that were above and beyond the call of duty as a man," Harrison Sr. told reporters after an AAU game this summer. "At that point I contacted him at A&M and said, 'I like what you did.' I want to send my kids some place where I can trust the (coach)."
But Harrison's roots in the Baltimore area run even deeper, according to Nike Baltimore Elite AAU Coach Carlton "Bub" Carrington, who has known Harrison Sr. since middle school.
"He's deep rooted as deep rooted can be," Carrington said. "He is a Baltimore guy ... He still claims Baltimore and his kids claim Baltimore even though they weren't born here. It's a testament to a guy that doesn't forget where he comes from. Every chance he gets he brings his boys here and lets them know, 'This is where you're from.'"
Carrington said that Harrison Sr. visits his mother frequently in Baltimore.
"He's a great guy," Carrington said. "He's a Christian, he's a family guy, he's a dad, (and) he's a husband. He's just a great all-around guy, a guy that you would call if you had some things on your chest."
And because the two grew up together, Carrington said he sees how much Andrew and Aaron have taken after their father, who coaches their AAU basketball team in Houston.
"They get their intensity from their father," Carrington said. "On the court they try to cut my neck off. But off the court, they show me all the love in the world as if they (haven't) just beaten you by 40."
Through Andrew and Aaron's recruiting process, their father has been their strongest ally, according to Carrington.
"If you look at the top 20 (recruits) ... not a lot of those kids come from a two-parent household," Carrington said. "To have a dad that grew up in the inner city but then also left and became successful in his walk of life ... that's just a tremendous asset."
He added: "I think that's the reason why [Aaron and Andrew] are not caught up in anything that is flaky or bad or anything that is immoral, unethical or illegal because they just don't have to go down that way. I just think that's awesome."
And even though the Harrison twins committed to Kentucky, Carrington believes Baltimore will still claim the duo as their own because of their father's connection to the area.
"That might be the biggest complement to our town," Carrington said. "He's never shunned Baltimore and because of those boys, even though they never played here, they will always have a place in this town's heart ... we feel like they're ours. That's a testament to a man raising boys to be men."