Talented in-state point guard Zion Harmon was ruled ineligible to play high school basketball in Kentucky this year by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association last week, but the family plans to appeal, according to his father, Mike Harmon.
“We will sit before an appeals committee and whichever way they rule (eligible or ineligible) we will not complain,” Mike Harmon said in a statement released to KyPrepReport.com. “We are grateful for all that God has allowed Zion to experience and accomplish in these two years. Zion has a plethora of opportunities available to him.”
Harmon was ruled ineligible by the KHSAA due to Bylaw 6, which states that student-athletes have to sit out a year for transferring but provides a multitude of exceptions to allow for family circumstances, a bona fide change of residence, and other exceptions that can often be out of a student’s control.
Marshall County would be Harmon’s fourth high school in four years. Last year, Harmon led Adair County by averaging more than 32 points per game to go along with almost 8 assists. The year before, as an eighth grader, Harmon was the second-leading scorer for Bowling Green High School and earned a state championship. As a seventh grader, Harmon played at Lighthouse Christian School in Antioch, Tennessee.
Harmon decided to transfer to Marshall County, and although there has been a considerable buzz around Marshall County about Harmon, the question remains if he will suit up for the squad.
Mike Harmon told kyprepreport.com that he thinks his son was ruled ineligible not because of the transfer but because he has accomplished too much in his two years at Kentucky.
“They say that we are being penalized for a transfer rule violation. I say they are penalizing Zion because he has violated the accomplishment rule... He is a threat to the record books in Kentucky and nationally.”
But why so many transfers? Mike said it was just the path that God has sent his son on, in an interview with Jason Frakes of the Courier-Journal.
“I can’t really go into all of the why of our path,” he said. “That would be almost like saying, ‘Why did Jesus choose his path?’ We live our lives by faith. That’s what we do. If we hadn’t lived our lives by the faith that we live our lives by, guess what? The things that have happened for Zion that have been positive wouldn’t have happened.”
So now the Harmons sit and wait. The Board of Appeals could overturn the decision and Harmon, who would be a sophomore this year but is expected to reclassify to the Class of 2020, could play for a Marshall County squad that finished 19-12 last season and advanced to the 1st Region semifinals.
But if the Board of Appeals decides to uphold the ruling, the next steps are unclear. Harmon could opt to go out of the state of Kentucky, he could attend a prep school, or he could sit out the year and play for Marshall County for the 2019-2020 season (although that would seem unlikely for a player of his caliber).
Regardless, the Harmon situation is one to keep an eye on for fans of Kentucky High School Basketball.
For the full statement from Mike Harmon, check that out here.
For the full Courier Journal story, you can find that here.