Montrezl Harrell, center for the Los Angeles Clippers has been coming off of the bench and dominating lately. This season he is currently averaging 19.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and two assists per game.
The 6’7″ 240 pound center from Tarboro, North Carolina was drafted to the NBA as the 32nd overall pick by the Houston Rockets in 2015 before being traded to the Clippers in 2017. Since his first season with the Clippers in 2017, Harrell has tallied an average of 15.6 points, six rebounds and 1.6 assists a game.
Here’s what you need to know about Montrezl Harrell:
1. Harrell is Louisville’s Dunk King
- Montrez went to the University of Louisville from 2012-2015. According to Cardinals Sports Zone, Louisville was the first school to start keeping track of dunk stats. Before Harrell went to Louisville, Chane Behanan (2012-13) and Pervis Ellison (1987-88) were tied for the most dunks in a single season at the university, with 59 dunks each. During Trez’s sophomore year against the University of South Florida, he posted four dunks to give him a total of 63 dunks for the season. This feat marked Trez as the player with the most dunks in a single season at the University of Louisville.
“It’s really remarkable that he set this record as a sophomore,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “And especially when you consider that he didn’t play that much as a freshman so for him to set it as a sophomore is really something.”
His 63 dunks in a single season gave him 107 career dunks which put him in 6th place on the career list. Pervis Ellison held the top spot with 162. On December 9, 2014 against Indiana University, Harrell recorded his 163 career dunk and passed Pervis Ellison’s 162 career record set in 1988. It was then that he was crowned Louisville’s dunk king.
“There are a lot of great guys on that list,” Harrell said per Cardinal Sports. “Coming in here I didn’t know too much about it, but then once it started to dawn on me that I had a chance to break it, it is a blessing. Now I hold that record and it’s just a matter of how high I’m going to set it.”
2. Montrezl Harrell First Committed to Virginia Tech
Montrez attended North Edgecombe High School before spending his last year at Hargrave Military Academy. After high school Trez committed to Virginia Tech with Seth Greenberg as their head coach. According to ESPN, Harrell was a top recruit for Virginia Tech as he ranked No. 89 overall for the class of 2012 on the ESPNU 100, and the No. 18-ranked power forward.
After Trez committed to Virginia Tech, the head coach Greenberg was fired because he had failed to make the NCAA tournament for five straight seasons, per the Washington Post. James Johnson, a former Tech assistant took his place. It was then that Trez changed his mind and no longer wanted to attend the school.
“I was really looking forward to playing for coach Greenberg, who was a great coach,” Harrell said. “I loved everything about the way that he coached. He coached with a passion. When they kind of got rid of him and really didn’t give a reason as to why, I watched that whole press conference that day, and it really hurt me. I kind of felt like if I’m going to go somewhere and start with a new coach who’s never been a head coach before, I felt like why not start with a whole different team.”
Harrell then signed with the University of Louisville and played basketball as a Cardinal.
3. Montrezl Harrell was Drafted by the Houston Rockets
Trez was the 32nd overall draft pick in 2015 by the Houston Rockets. He signed a three-year contract with the team and made his NBA debut against the Denver Nuggets on October 28. During his first season, Trez averaged 3.6 points, .4 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game. He improved his second season and tallied an average of 9.1 points, 1.1 assists and 3.8 boards a game.
In 2016, Trez made his first appearance as a starter against the Phoenix Suns. He tallied 17 points matching his career high. Against the L.A. Clippers, Trez set a new career high after he recorded a total of 29 points. During his time with the Rockets, Trez averaged 6.4 points, .75 assists and 2.75 boards a game. In 2017, Harrell was part of a trade deal that landed him with the Los Angeles Clippers.
4. Harrell Agreed to a Two-Year, $12 Million Contract With the Clippers
The L.A. Clippers acquired Harrell along with a few other players and a 2018 first-round pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul. During his first season with the Clippers, Harrell proved to play a crucial role on the team and averaged 11 points, one assist and 4 rebounds a game. Per Basketball Reference those averages balance out to 31.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per 100 possessions. According to Bleacher Report in July of 2018, Harrell who was a free agent, agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with the Clippers.
Per the Los Angeles Times, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said that Trez exceeded the team’s expectations.
“You just learn more and more about him as you coach him. You never know a guy until you coach a guy. When we got him, we looked at him as an energy guy, a guy that can play defense. That’s what he did everywhere he’s been,” Rivers said.
Trez has not failed the Clippers yet and is playing incredibly well this season too. After this season Trez is an unrestricted free agent. With the numbers he is posting, it would be a great idea for the Clippers to try and keep him.
5. Trez has two Children
Trez isn’t only an incredible basketball player he is also an amazing father of two. He has one son and one daughter that he shows off on a regular basis. His only two story highlights on his Instagram are of his children and he often takes to twitter and Instagram to post about his kids.
Trez said in one post that it was the “best feeling in world” to see his kids walk up to him after work saying “Daddy.”
He has also said that his two kids are “all that he has when it’s said and done.”
The Los Angeles Clippers and Montrezl Harrell will be back at home on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns at 7:30 p.m. PST.