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John Harrar’s Leadership Shines Through Return To Penn State Hoops

Last week, John Harrar pulled out of the transfer portal and chose to return to Penn State men’s basketball for his final season of eligibility.

The aptly named King of Delco’s return to Happy Valley is a significant development for Micah Shrewsberry’s squad amid some serious roster turnover that has seen three players officially transfer away from the program — and two in — so far.

There’s no doubting Harrar’s impact on the court for the Nittany Lions, as he emerged as a “glue guy” and one of the team’s best players last season. He averaged a career-high 8.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while playing 24.8 minutes per game in the 2020-21 season. His prowess on the court earned him recognition by the media as an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten team.

While Harrar’s return to Penn State will certainly help on the court, it may help even more from a leadership point of view. For a team that lost veterans Jamari Wheeler, Trent Buttrick, and Myreon Jones to the portal this offseason, Harrar’s return gives Penn State an unquestioned leader moving forward.

Harrar is undoubtedly the most experienced Nittany Lion remaining on the roster following the flurry of transfers this offseason. While Wheeler, a fellow team leader from last season, decided to transfer to conference rival Ohio State, Harrar is staying loyal and running it back with the Nittany Lions for one final season.

Harrar’s leadership is something that has been on full display for quite some time now. During this past season, then-interim head coach Jim Ferry raved about his presence after a win over Rutgers.

“John Harrar is the greatest leader I’ve ever been around,” Ferry said. “He’s the most consistent human being in everything. Every single day, he comes with a great approach on life and basketball. He leaves every single ounce of energy he has on the floor every night.”

Likewise, Jones, who transferred to Florida earlier this month, had nothing but good things to say about Harrar’s leadership.

“John is our leader,” Jones said during the season. “If there’s anything no one else wants to do, John does it. He’s our leader, he’s our warrior, and he’s out there working out in the practice gym right now.”

Shrewsberry will lean on Harrar during the offseason process that’ll include installing a brand new system with a much different roster. Just in the last week, Penn State has brought in two new players from the transfer portal — former Gardner-Webb guard Jaheam Cornwall and former Siena guard Jalen Pickett. Additionally, Izaiah Brockington announced he’s re-entering the transfer portal to play elsewhere next season.

While the team will look much different come next season, there’s no doubt that Harrar’s return will provide the Nittany Lions with a leader to lean on when facing the growing pains most new-look teams go through.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

After a four-year career with Onward State, Gabe is now a college graduate and off to the real world. He shockingly served as the blog’s managing editor during the 2022-23 school year and covered football for much of his Onward State tenure, including trips to the Outback Bowl and Rose Bowl. For any professional inquiries, please email Gabe at [email protected]. You can still see his bad sports takes on Twitter at @gabeangieri.

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