Draft Day Decisions: How ASU Shaped Harden’s NBA Path

Sun Devil to Spotlight: Harden’s Draft Prospects Unveiled

James Harden arrived at Arizona State University (ASU) in 2007 as a highly touted recruit. He quickly made his mark on the Sun Devils’ basketball program, averaging 17.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his freshman season. Harden’s impressive performance earned him Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors.

In his sophomore season, Harden elevated his game to the next level. He led the Sun Devils to a 25-10 record and their first NCAA Tournament appearance in four years. Harden averaged 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, earning him consensus All-American honors.

Harden’s draft prospects soared after his sophomore season. He was widely projected to be a top-five pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Harden’s strengths included his elite scoring ability, his versatile offensive game, and his passing ability.

The Leap to Legacy: Pivotal Decisions Preceding the Draft

Harden decided to declare for the NBA draft after his sophomore season. He had a number of factors to consider when making this decision. On the one hand, he was already one of the best players in college basketball and was projected to be a high draft pick. On the other hand, he was only 20 years old and had only played two seasons of college basketball.

Harden ultimately decided to declare for the draft because he felt that he was ready for the NBA. He had confidence in his skills and his ability to compete at the highest level. Harden also felt that he was mature enough to handle the challenges of being a professional basketball player.

A Day of Destiny: Draft Day Reflections and Realizations

Harden’s draft day was a day of mixed emotions. He was excited about the opportunity to play in the NBA, but he was also sad to be leaving ASU behind. Harden had spent two memorable years in Tempe, and he had developed a close bond with his coaches, teammates, and fans.

Harden was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He went on to have a successful NBA career, winning the MVP award in 2018. Harden also led the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference Finals twice.

Harden has reflected on his draft day on several occasions. He has said that it was one of the happiest days of his life, but he also admitted that he felt a lot of pressure. Harden was aware that he was expected to be a star player in the NBA, and he knew that he had to live up to those expectations.

Testimonial from Former ASU Basketball Coach Herb Sendek:

“James was ready for the NBA after his sophomore season. He was a complete player who could score, rebound, and pass. He was also a very intelligent player who understood the game. I knew that he would be successful in the NBA.”


James Harden’s experience and development at ASU played a crucial role in shaping his path to the NBA. He learned valuable lessons about basketball and life during his time at ASU. Harden’s success in the NBA is a testament to his hard work and dedication, as well as the positive influence of ASU.

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