Virginia jumps in mix for national top 10, 5-star guard Haralson

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: Stock Risers

Virginia basketball has dived into the deep end of the recruiting pool by making an offer to the nation’s top combo guard, Jalen Haralson, a 5-star from Fishers, Ind.

The 6-foot-7 guard, who has transferred from Fishers HS to prep powerhouse La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., is rated among the nation’s top 10 best overall prospects in the recruiting class of 2025. He’s ranked No. 9 in the composite ratings of the top four national recruiting services.

Virginia and Duke were the latest to join the Haralson recruiting party, both offering in the past two days. The blue-chip guard has offers from tons of power 5 schools: Gonzaga, Indiana, Florida State, Notre Dame, Auburn, Purdue, Wisconsin, TCU, Ohio State, Michigan State Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Arizona State, LSU, Maryland and more. Haralson said he would like to hear from Kentucky.

While leading Fishers to the state semifinals as a sophomore, Haralson averaged 23.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

He decided to transfer to powerhouse La Lumiere, which is a member of the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference, a league of some of the country’s best prep basketball programs, such as Oak Hill Academy.

He is the second La Lumiere player in the UVA recruiting news this week, as Tony Bennett extended an offer to Darius Adams, a 4-star guard who is also transferring to the school for the upcoming season.

Fishers coach Garrett Winegar told the Indianapolis Star that he was disappointed to lose his best player, but understood the move to a league with greater competition.

“He’s an extremely hard worker and has been ever since he started playing for us as a freshman,” Winegar said. “I’m excited for him as a player to continue to develop.”

Haralson made the Fishers team as a freshman, a veteran team that rose to No. 1 in the state of Indiana two years ago and averaged 16 points per game, shooting 54 percent from the field.

This past season, Winegar called Haralson “the best sophomore in the country.”

“If there’s a better 15-year-old in the world (Haralson turned 16 in April), I haven’t seen him,” Winegar told The Star. “He’s leading us in almost every statistical category and on top of that he’s taking the challenge of guarding people like Xavier Booker. He guarded him early and I don’t think he scored. He’s starting to take defensive challenges.”

Haralson isn’t shy about his abilities.

“I want to show my dominance and my versatility, that’s the main thing,” the 5-star prospect told On3 recently. “I want to show I can play all three positions and control the game at my size. I’m a big guard that can play-make, and I can score. I’ve been working on my scoring this offseason, just change the game defensively and make an impact when I’m on the floor.”

Some consider home-state Indiana the early favorite, but with national programs knocking at the door, Haralson may decide to look around. The Hoosiers have been recruiting him since he was 14 and his brother went to IU, so he’s most familiar with that school.