JACKSONVILLE, FL – MARCH 19: Siyani Chambers #1 of the Harvard Crimson reacts after the North Carolina Tar Heels defeated them 67-65 during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 19, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Harvard Crimson are looking to take the next step in the school’s basketball evolution and land top recruits from bigger schools.

Harvard is in the running for one of the top recruits in the nation, according to the Wall Street Journal. Wendell Carter, the third-ranked prospect in the nation per ESPN, has multiple offers from top schools like Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina. But Carter is considering the Crimson due to the school’s educational prowess:

“It’s because it’s Harvard,” said Kylia Carter, Wendell’s mother, who wants her son to stun the world and join the Crimson. “I’m just like any other parent that wants the very best in whatever their child endeavors.”

Harvard’s gone to three straight NCAA tournaments, but the college is looking to take the next step in landing NBA-ready talent. That on-court success combined with the off-court pedigree is an attractive combination. The Ivy League, of course, doesn’t offer athletic scholarships. In the past, that combined with the strict admission requirements to limit the pool of talent available for the school. Over the past decade, though, Harvard (and the rest of the Ivy League) has increased need-based financial aid, which has filled in the tuition gap, and made the school a legitimate option for players and students like Carter.

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown told WSJ he regretted not considering Harvard as an option during recruiting, instead playing a season at Cal. He hopes Carter considers the option.

“If you tell somebody you went to Harvard, automatically their perception of you changes, in an instant,” Brown said. “Selfishly, I would like to see him go there.”

Carter signing with Harvard would certainly shift perception among recruits on which schools to consider. As would a deep tournament run for the team.

[Wall Street Journal]

About Liam McGuire

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