Mount Vernon sophomore guard Jared Harper doesn’t remember a life without basketball. It is part of who he is. He loves the game. Always has. His earliest memories are of hours spent dribbling and shooting in neighborhood gyms.

He began playing organized ball at the age of four and recalls having a basketball in his hands well before that. The game is a way of life for Harper, son of a coach and student of the game. Never the biggest player on the court, Harper has grown up idolizing the likes of Chris Paul and Nate Robinson. He relates to those players, he says, because although they are undersized by NBA standards, they “work their tails off” to be great.

Jared is certainly no stranger to hard work, be it on the court or in the classroom. He attacks his studies with the same ferocity he does opposing defenders. The result is an impressive 3.61 overall GPA, including a stellar 3.83 mark this past semester. As a result of his determination on the hardwood and in the classroom, Harper was named “Student Athlete of the Month” by the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. The award is presented to the student athlete who best displays excellence in both the sports and academic arenas and it is something Harper is very proud of.

“I have to work hard on the court, because I am constantly going up against bigger, taller competition. In order to be the best, I feel I have to work harder than anybody else. The same is true for academics. I know grades are more important than basketball or anything else, and I work as hard as I can to do the best that I can.”

Jared is an important part of a Mustang team that is 20-3 and currently ranked in the top 10 in the GHSA power rankings. With continued dedication to the game and his studies, the sky’s the limit for Harper.

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