by Jeremy Bauman / @JBauman13
Standing at 6-1, 175 pounds, Brett Harvey was one of the most overlooked point guards in college basketball the last four years. A very cerebral player, Harvey worked extremely hard over the course of his career at Loyola University and by the time he was done was the unquestioned face of the program.
Although he neither had eye-popping statistics nor led his team to the NCAA Tournament, Harvey had several clutch games and, most importantly, played the game with passion, pride, and commitment toward being the best he could possibly be.
SLAM: You started off at Clarkstown North outside of NYC. What AAU teams did you play for when you were growing up and how did you figure out that basketball was something you wanted to pursue with your life?
Brett Harvey: I played for Metro Hawks, NYC Rise Panthers and the Rockland Rockets. I had been playing basketball my entire life, and playing in college was always my goal. Once I got to college my college coach told me from my freshman year that I will be able to play professionally once I graduate.
SLAM: I know you played in the Empire State Games. What was that experience like for you?
BH: The Empire State Games was a fun experience. I played two years for the Hudson valley team. It was fun playing on a team with guys who played on rival teams in my college league.
SLAM: What were your options for college when you were a senior in high school? What made you choose Loyola?
BH: A few of the schools I was recruited by was Manhattan College, UMass, GW, Quinnipiac and James Madison. I originally committed to Manhattan but Coach Bobby Gonzalez went to Seton Hall, I had to re-open my recruiting and chose Loyola. I chose Loyola cause they were an up and coming team and really liked the coaching staff.
SLAM: Your college career was pretty steady. It seems as if you took on a little bit more of a scoring role as your career went on. Discuss your mindset throughout your time at Loyola.
BH: My first year I was mainly the point guard. My job was to get the scorers the ball where they can do something with it. As a sophomore I played the one and the two. I was able to look for my shot more and be more aggressive. Then my last two years I was asked to score more and be the leader of the team.
SLAM: What are some of your most memorable times at Loyola?
BH: Some of my most memorable times at Loyola were beating Siena and Niagara in Overtime which were both overtime wins, a buzzer beater I hit against Marist to send the game into overtime and when we beat Indiana on their home floor. (Note: Glad I missed this game thanks to Winter break– JB)
SLAM: How did you initially realize that you could pursue a professional career in Israel? What was the experience of going through a tryout overseas like?
BH: My coach Jimmy Patsos told me for four years that I will play in Israel once I’m done at Loyola. I am an Israeli citizen so that made it easier also. I had a try out in Miami with 40 other players. I was nervous before it started but once we started playing ball I felt comfortable and got the job.
SLAM: What is your Macabi Haifa team like (playing style, other players, personal expectations/experiences) thus far?
BH: We have a very good team this year. We can play many styles, we can run and get easy baskets or we can slow it down cause of our strong inside game. We are one of the toughest teams in Israel so a championship is our goal. We are also in Euro Challenge which we will have us traveling all year and add on a bunch of games.
SLAM: What was it like to play against the New Jersey Nets in New Jersey, probably in front of your family and friends?
BH: It was great playing the Nets. It’s something I will never forget
SLAM: What do you like about Israel so far, off the court?
BH: It’s a real easy transition for me cause everyone here speaks English. They are all big basketball fans so they are very nice to us and help us out if we need anything. It’s nice also that we live at the beach.