The Basketball Africa League (BAL) was an experience Jared Harrington will never forget. The BAL allowed him to showcase his talents to the world.
The point guard began his collegiate career at a Division III college for two years before transferring. Then, he transferred to Division II Albany State University, an HBCU in Albany, Georgia. At Albany State, Harrington set the school record for most points scored in a single season with 461 points.
Harrington built upon his success at the collegiate level and began his pro career in Mongolia. His next opportunity came with the Cape Town Tigers in the BAL qualifiers.
The Upper Marlboro, Maryland, native changed clubs after the qualifiers and went from Cape Town to Cobra Sport, a club in South Sudan. The club saw him play during the BAL Qualifiers, and they had an open roster spot, so Harrington seized the opportunity. “I saw the opportunity and ran with it. My main goal was to participate in the BAL,” said Harrington.
The 6-foot-6 combo guard mainly played at the point for Cobra Sport, while he was more of a combo guard for Cape Town. In the five games he participated in, Harrington showcased his skills and averaged 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 25.4 minutes per contest.
“It was a fun experience. Playing in a leadership role for this team was an adjustment, but I had a good time, had great feedback, and got to play against guys with NBA experience. I’m one of the two youngest American imports in the BAL. I’m taking it one day at a time and just enjoying the process,” claimed Harrington talking about the playing in the BAL.
The NBA backs the BAL, a newer league with a ton of potential. According to Harrington, the facilities are top-notch with new locker rooms and treatment centers. In addition, the league houses players in the best hotels and provides excellent meals.
Former NBA players, college basketball standouts, and prospects play in the BAL. The Basketball Africa League launched BAL Elevate with the help of the NBA. Each team places one NBA Academy Africa player with each of the 12 teams in the league.
“The BAL Elevate is similar to the G League Ignite. There was a guy on my team who was 7-foot-3 and 15 years old. He is amazing. Some of these young African guys are super talented, and they are getting the stage to show what they can do. I would love to continue to be a part of the league,” Harrington said.
Cobra Sport played five games in Cairo, Egypt, but failed to qualify for the next round of the Basketball Africa League.
The 24-year-old is returning home to prepare for his next opportunity, whether a summer league invite or next season.
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