Freshman Connor Harding has been a pleasant surprise for BYU basketball after following Idaho neighbor and fellow prep QB Taysom Hill to Provo

“My eighth-grade yr, my stepmom wished me to come back again to BYU’s basketball camp,” said Harding, now a 6-foot-6 freshman at BYU after a church mission to Atlanta. “My dad [Robert] didn’t want me to come back again. So she actually signed me up, drove me down proper right here and obtained me going. I did OK and the next issue I do know, coach [Dave] Rose is watching me play and I’m getting some recruiting consideration from them.”

Like Hill, Harding was Highland Extreme’s starting quarterback his senior yr.

“I’ve appeared as a lot as Taysom my complete life and am truly close to the Hill family,” said Harding. “He’s a hero to a lot of individuals in Pocatello.”

Now Harding is blazing his private path — on the hardwoods. The gangly capturing guard who resembles the Jimmy Chitwood character from the basketball movie “Hoosiers” has made an immediate impression no matter getting back from his mission in late June.

Rose said Harding’s confidence and fearlessness have enabled him to step in and earn vital participating in time early inside the season.

“Confidence is de facto sort of an individual issue,” Rose said. “Some guys will inform you they actually really feel it from their teammates, or from their coaches. I’ve watched Connor play on pretty a few fully completely different teams. He is a participant that has always had a considerable quantity of confidence in himself and his ability to play.”

Harding said he watched Jimmer Fredette — one different Cougar legend that drew him to the school — play for BYU and wished to develop that exact same fearless angle and confidence that the consensus nationwide participant of the yr had in 2011.

“Whoever you are participating in in opposition to, you must take into account that you will win,” Harding said. “For individuals who don’t have that angle, you are not match for Division I basketball. You are not the participant you may need to develop to be.”

Harding averaged 18.5 components, 6.three rebounds and a pair of.three assists and led Highland to a 19-6 file and the Idaho 5A state title his senior yr. He was the USA At current Idaho Participant of the Yr, the Idaho Gatorade Participant of the Yr and the Idaho Statesman 5A Participant of the Yr.

Having fun with on the similar touring summer season AAU workforce as Cougars Yoeli Childs and Gavin Baxter, Harding was tabbed a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star by Rivals.com and Scout.com.

“His recruitment went on for pretty a while,” Rose said. “We watched him play in all places within the nation — East Coast, West Coast, down South. We adopted that workforce spherical somewhat loads.”

Junior forward Dalton Nixon is distant cousins with Harding and quickly realized after a few summer season pickup video video games that the freshman was the precise deal.

“I consider he will have an vital career at BYU,” Nixon said. “It says somewhat loads about him to come back again residence from a mission late within the summertime and be succesful to be in scenario to be a contributor off the bench firstly of the season.”

“Connor performs with a ton of confidence,” Maughan said. “He is inserting inside the effort to get the outcomes that he’s gotten. … He merely grinds and grinds and he’s conscious of the success will come.”

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