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Tommy Amaker Gets A Major Commitment For Harvard

This would be a big deal any year but after last season, it’s huge.

Harvard v Arizona
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 23: Head coach Tommy Amaker of the Harvard Crimson calls out in the second half while taking on the Arizona Wildcats during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at EnergySolutions Arena on March 23, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Last season was disruptive for everyone and we like to say everyone gets a pass. But what do you do with the Ivy League, which opted to cancel the season? Maybe they get a different kind of pass.

That includes former Duke assistant and ace point guard Tommy Amaker of course. Now the coach at Harvard, like many of his Ivy colleagues, saw transfers. In his case, Seth Towns departed. That’s a hit, but at Cornell, the entire senior class left.

Amaker said this to “The most challenging aspect of not playing last season was not being together as a team. As a result of Harvard’s COVID policies and protocols, many of our players did not set foot on campus all last year. I saw one of our seniors in person this fall for the first time in 17 months. This is a guy that I had been accustomed to having intimate conversations with in person each day. Though we did a variety of activities to keep our group connected and engaged throughout the ’20-’21 academic year, there is no way to replicate the joy of the daily interactions in the locker room, the time spent together in the dorm, traveling to road games, etc. So, as much as our guys missed not being able to play, I think they missed each other even more.’’

Suffice it to say, last year was extremely tough on Ivy League basketball programs.

However, Amaker built a reputation for recruiting above Harvard’s traditional level so it’s nice to see he’s still doing that: Amaker has a commitment from Chisom Okpara, a 6-7 220 lb. 4-star forward who could have gone to any number of places, including Chris Collins’ Northwestern or Jeff Capel’s Pitt.

That he chose to go to Harvard says volumes about the staying power of Amaker’s program.