Former Rutgers men’s basketball guard Ron Harper Jr. recently took part in the NBA 2K23 Summer League in Las Vegas. Harper and the Toronto Raptors played five games and finished with a 4-1 record, with Harper starting in every game.
Harper’s first game came on July 9 against the 76ers. In 24 minutes of action, Harper had 9 points, five rebounds and two steals in a 97-77 win. For most of the game, Harper was looking to find his rhythm in what was his first NBA action.
“It felt good to go out there and get my feet wet,” Harper said after the game. “It’s your first NBA action in front of the world. I felt like I played well.”
Game two on July 12 did not go as well for the Raptors, as the team suffered its first and only loss of the Summer League to the Chicago Bulls. Harper finished with 5 points and three rebounds in 22 minutes.
The Raptors were back the following day to take on the Utah Jazz in what ended up being an 80-74 win. Harper scored 8 points, grabbed six rebounds, collected one steal and one block and was a plus-15 in the 29 minutes he was on the court.
In the penultimate game this past Friday night, the Raptors defeated the Miami Heat 88-78. In the win, Harper scored a Summer League high 14 points on 6 of 12 to go along with seven rebounds. The Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, native also recorded a steal, block and assist.
The Raptors then wrapped up their stay in Las Vegas on Sunday with an 11-point win over the Milwaukee Bucks. In his fifth consecutive start, Harper had 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks.
For the Summer League, Harper averaged 9.2 points and five rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game. His shooting splits could be improved upon, as Harper shot just 39.5 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from three. Despite this, Harper shot well from the free throw line, converting 91.7 percent of his attempts.
Last month, the Raptors announced that the team officially signed Harper to a two-way deal. Harper initially joined the team after going undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft. For more information on a two-way NBA contract, click here.
With the Summer League concluded, Harper will now have to wait until the Raptors begin training camp this fall, with the hope of earning a standard NBA contract in the near future.
“I really feel I fit well with the organization,” Harper said. “We’ve been working with them for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been nothing but positive things … I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be a part of it, and I know my best basketball is in the future.”
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