By LARRY VAUGHT
The season didn’t go the way that Zion Harmon had planned when he transferred from Adair County to Marshall County for his sophomore season.
He had helped Bowling Green win the 2017 state title as an eighth-grader and then led the state in scoring after transferring to Adair for one season. His father, Mike, said he wanted to challenge his son, one of the nation’s top players in the 2021 recruiting class nationally, in different ways — academically, culturally and socially. Yet most thought Zion Harmon moved to Marshall County only for athletics even though the point guard had many options to transfer to schools with more talent.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association ruled him ineligible and after several appeals, Zion Harmon went a different route — he played on weekends for Bella Vista Prep, a private school in Arizona. He kept attending classes at Marshall County and got permission from the KHSAA to do so without jeopardizing his eligibility for his junior and senior seasons.
Bella Vista surprised many when it won the Grind Session World’s Championship, which was played at Marshall County.
“God’s plan for us was to win a world championship at Marshall,” Mike Harmon said. “We believe God still has some work to do at Marshall in Zion’s life and for the people at Marshall.”
Mike Harmon knew Marshall County had a small African-American population when he moved there. He thought that would be a cultural experience that would help his son mature. He also knew Marshall had the school shooting the previous school year but hoped his son’s presence could help with the healing process.
Zion Harmon is now preparing for another AAU season and going to Virginia to practice for the prestigious Nike EYBL season.
Zion Harmon has scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and others. Mike Harmon believes more offers will come this summer because that’s when most high profile players are recruited the hardest.
“I am expecting him to have a huge summer and I think a lot of schools will probably offer,” Mike Harmon said. “Today about 95 percent of the true recruiting takes part on the summer circuit.”
However, after leaning to reclassifying to the 2020 class — Zion Harmon is an honor student now taking numerous NCAA core classes at Marshall — it now appears the talented point guard will stay at Marshall the next two years.
“We are about 90 percent set on staying four years in high school,” Mike Harmon said. “I am looking at his overall development as well as his educational development as well as continuing to build his brand. He’s taking NCAA core classes now and our goal is by the time he enters college to already have a year of college classes so his first year at Kentucky, Louisville, Western Kentucky or wherever he decides to go that he will be in a good situation academically.”