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John Harrar, Former Penn State Basketball Players Form Team for TBT

Penn State Basketball Player John Harrar
Photo from Penn State Twitter (USA Today): John Harrar

John Harrar and other notable former Penn State basketball players have formed a team that’s applied be part of The Basketball Tournament, the tournament announced via Twitter Thursday morning.

Penn State’s team is called the Happy Valley Hoopers and will be in the tournament’s 10th edition.

The Basketball Tournament is one consisting of alumni from college basketball programs, and the winning prize is $1 million for the winner-take-all tournament.

Harrar played at Penn State from 2017-22, and will be joined by these former Penn State basketball players;

Jamari Wheeler (2017-21, Ohio State 2021-22)

Nazeer Bostick (2016-18, St. Peter’s 2019-20)

Curtis Jones (2019-20)

Shep Garner (2014-18)

Tony Carr (2016-18)

Josh Reaves (2015-19)

Trent Buttrick (2017-21, UMass 2021-22)

Mike Watkins (2015-19)

All of these players played at Penn State during the Pat Chambers era. Five of them— Harrar, Garner, Watkins, Reaves and Buttrick— were part of the 2017-18 squad that won the NIT and beat Ohio State three times.

Harrar is the one who put it all together. He is the team’s “general manager,” and the guy who reach out to the alumni with the proposition. One of the most popular players in program history, Harrar stuck with Penn State through Chambers’s controversial resignation in the fall of 2020 and, after a season under interim coach Jim Ferry, Harrar stayed with the program through Year 1 of the Micah Shrewsberry era, playing his last year of eligibility last season.

Shrewsberry loved Harrar.

“What I hear Penn State is, I see it every day, and I see it in John,” Shrewsberry said after the Nittany Lions’ loss to Ohio State Dec. 5.

“John’s a warrior, man,” Shrewsberry said after Penn State’s upset win over Michigan State Feb. 15. “He’s a warrior. He gives you everything he has. There is no, ‘did John play hard tonight?’ Yes, John plays hard.”

Harrar is sure to play hard with his fellow former Penn State players this summer.

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