PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz – Monte and Shaquille Harrison are brothers in pursuit of their dream of playing professional sports. Monte is a prospect playing in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system, while Shaquille plays in the NBA G-League with the Northern Arizona Suns.
Shaquille is in his second season with the NAZSuns. After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, Shaquille signed with the Phoenix Suns on September 25, 2016. However, he was later waived by the Suns on October 10. Then, on October 31, 2016, he was acquired by the Northern Arizona Suns of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player of Phoenix. In the team’s season opener on November 12, 2016, Shaquille scored an equal team-high 20 points in a 122–106 win over the Iowa Energy. He was able to eclipse the 20 point mark on four occasions last season, and in the team’s first game this season as well giving him a total of five in his career. He talked about that.
”I guess I like those opening nights. You work so hard through the summer and you’re ready to display all of your talents and everything that you worked hard for over the summer. You get up a little bit more because it’s the first basketball game of the season,” said Shaquille.
There are only four returning players from the team last season, with a new coaching staff as well. “It’s a little different for me because in college I had the same teammates from year one to year four. I heard the professional level is kind of like that. You have players coming in and out. You just got to adjust. You build those relationships, but at the end of the day, its a business. You got to be on top of everything, and ahead of the game. I think in the locker room you gel with everyone. I think its pretty well with the new guys and with the four returning guys, it makes it a little homier. Not just a whole new team. It’s been great.”
Shaquille currently sitting at 495 points, needs just five more for a total of 500 for his career.
Last year, Shaquille was a rookie playing in the D-League. This year his role is changing. “I’m expected to make more shots. I’m expected to take care of the ball more. I’m not a rookie anymore. I think I have a little bit larger role this year, and I’m ready to take that on, cause that’s what I work for in the summer.”
During his career at Tulsa, Shaquille started all 133 games in his four years and averaged just over 11 points per game. He eclipsed the 20 point mark 21 times, while scoring in double figures 73 times and is the only Tulsa University player to start during his four-year career.
Like his brother Monte, he stared in multiple sports in high school at Lee’s Summit West. He excelled in both football and basketball. Both answered the same way why they choose basketball and baseball over football. “The love of the game.”
Monte was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round (No. 50 overall) of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Lee’s Summit West High School in Missouri, then signed with the Brewers on June 7, 2014. He has spent three seasons in the Brewers farm system and this year seemed to put it all together playing at two stops and succeeding at both with a combined average of .272, home runs of 27 and 67 RBI 27 stolen bases.
”I kind of had the feeling it was gonna happen, but at the same time, still had the football run. Some teams were scared off, but I kept telling them I want to play baseball. This is really what I want to do. I’m glad the brewers took a chance on me, and I got to pursue my dream,” said Monte.
With both brothers playing in professional sports, at the end of the day they both concur that having that helps both of them in their pursuit of their dream in making it to the next level. “We’re both driven. We like to do the opposite of what people tell us. When people say you can’t do that, we do anything in our mind and in our power to reach what we were told we couldn’t do. It’s that completion we had growing up as kids between us,“ said Shaquille.
Monte was similar in his thought of having a brother playing a professional sport. “Someone else knowing what I’m going through. It was like one of those things like we’re gonna push each other. At the end of the day, how can I help him. Just keep pushing each other. We text each other all the time. Let’s set goals for this year, and keep striving to be the best we can be.”
Of the two brothers, Shaquille is the oldest at 24, with Monte being 22, however, Monte will tell you he is better on the court than his older brother. Of course, Shaquille says he is better in hoops and that’s his sport. Monte has him in baseball. These two athletes have huge upsides and create excitement each time they play. Don’t bet against them making it to the next level.