Here’s more from Marty Myers’ Athlete of the Week interview with Ky’Ron Harbin.
Who’s the most famous athlete you’ve met? I just met Tony Carr yesterday, Penn State’s point guard. He’s a nice person.
Was there one watershed moment when you knew you could really jump? I think it was my birthday, eighth-grade year, I’d just come back from Florida from my grandmother’s funeral. It was my first day back in school in gym class and Mr. (Santo) Zanghi he was hyping me up. You’ve got to dunk this. You grew a few inches. Then my friend Reese, they were like, Dunk. Dunk. Dunk. Dunk. I put it down and after that I realized I had some talent.
You’ve been pretty fortunate to have your picture in the paper quite a bit. Is there one that is your favorite? I would have to say it’s between the last jumping picture that I had and my dunk against West Scranton at Marywood.
One moment from your high school sports career that stands out for you. I think in track it would be my freshman year in districts when I beat (Delaware Valley’s) Cole Acoveno in the high jump. I think that was one of the biggest because I had pulled my quad muscle, and when I beat him, I pushed myself to go that extra mile.
Talk a little bit about setting the two school records. It was a nice day and I was feeling it. Coach said, if you’re feeling the record, go for the record.
Do you know when you’re in the air that you’re about to nail a big jump? Some people think about it too much and that’s why, not to be mean, some people aren’t as good as others. I just like to go out and have fun with it and jump.
Speaking of having fun with it, are there some funny moments at practice? Everyone on the team has their moment. We like to throw jokes at one another and have fun. We like to come together more as a family than as a team. Mr. (Dave) Powell and Miss (Michelle) Reed, they care about every person on the team with their whole heart, and we care about them the same.
Your team won the North Pocono invitational in dominating fashion. What does that say about your team? It says we put in a lot of work in the offseason and we’re still coming out and trying to get better everyday, and hopefully continue to get better every day. I just try to go out and have fun. I just do whatever I need to do to help my team get a win.
Most influential person on your athletic career? My friend’s dad, Ron Jordan. He’s been like a family member to me since third, fourth grade. He’s always pushing me to do better for myself. He’s actually the person who started me on a basketball team. He put the ball in my hands so I credit him a lot.
When did you realize track might be your best sport? I noticed that I could pursue track after high school my freshman year when I went to states. Once I went there, it was crazy and I wanted to get back there again. I knew if I practiced and got better with it, I could get back there again.
You’ve long jumped 23-4¾, high jumped 6-5 and triple jumped 46-3, so I’m guessing you’d like to won districts in all those events? That’s where everything starts, with that district title. We took a hard loss to Wallenpaupack the first meet of the season and we just don’t want to take another. I’d like to get back to states in all three jumps because I know if I get there, I can compete with the best of the best. I feel like I am one of the best of the best. I just want to go pout there and get a gold medal.
It’s not being cocky, but to succeed, you have to carry a certain mindset. Some people don’t know the difference between self confidence and cockiness. I just have a lot of self confidence in what I can do.
Who’s the class clown on the team? I’d have to say myself. I like to keep everyone in a jolly mood. I like to joke around.
Which athlete on your team has had the biggest improvement from last year? There’s a few. My boy Phillip Lopez, he really stepped up and helped us out in the distance. He’s a great 400-meter runner. Akash Darjee, he’s a great hurdler. If he works, he can do something with hurdles. I like the whole team. Everyone’s improving every day. But those are the two main people who have improved from last year.
One athlete if you could have on your track team, who would it be? I’d have to have my boy DeShawn Minnick. He’s an amazing talent and we go way back. We’ve always been close.
After high school, what would you like to do? Inside scoop right here, because I don’t tell most people this. The plan is to try to get a scholarship for basketball. If not, I want to go to Penn State for track.