AL HAMNIK: Harangody adds more bite to Mad Ants' attack

2013-01-26T17:00:00Z 2013-01-30T19:01:10Z AL HAMNIK: Harangody adds more bite to Mad Ants' attackAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 26, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

Luke Harangody would love to stop living out of an overnight bag.

A second-round NBA draft pick in 2010, the ex-Notre Dame star spent half his rookie season with Boston, then was traded to Cleveland, which is like losing your table at Gibsons.

Last season, Harangody was sent from Cleveland to the National Basketball Development League affiliate Canton, then back to Cleveland.

This season, the 6-foot-8 forward did not appear in a game with the Cavaliers, who waived him Nov. 29 -- days after undergoing a "routine" scope of his knee.

"Coming off the injury was a tough thing for me," Harangody said. "I sat around and couldn't do anything. I had the surgery and then a week later I was cut by the Cavaliers."

Without any warning whatsoever, not that he expected to be taken out to dinner by coach Byron Scott and given the word.

"It was all quick and to the point," Harangody said.

On Dec. 28, the Andrean grad had 19 points and 18 rebounds in his debut with the NBDL's Fort Wayne Mad Ants, coached by former Gary Steelheads' skipper Duane Ticknor.

Last week, Big Luke dumped 31 and 12 on the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

And Friday night, Harangody torched the Erie Bayhawks with 29 points and 17 rebounds.

"He is what we knew he was going to be," Ticknor told the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. "He's a great rebounder. He's a go-to guy, which is something we haven't had.

"He has such an intensity and effort level. He's a fun guy to coach and is going to be a great teammate. They already believe in him and trust him."

Fort Wayne started 3-10 and is 9-3 since Harangody stormed in with trumpets blaring.

Granted, it's not the NBA, but close enough to evaluate the overall game of any prospect.

"I'm as confident as I've ever been," Harangody said. "I'm almost there. Nothing compares with going up and down the court. I'm taking it slow. The No. 1 thing is getting back to where I was before, physically."

In a few years, the NBA could have such region talent as Michigan's Glenn Robinson III (Lake Central), Mitch McGary (Chesterton) and Michigan State's Branden Dawson (Lew Wallace) joining the Orlando Magic's E'Twaun Moore (E.C. Central).

Harangody wants to be in the mix as well. He has no desire to play overseas. Not yet.

"I believe there's still a future for me in the NBA. I just need an opportunity and the right fit," he said.

The Mad Ants are an NBDL feeder for the Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks -- all of whom can use a fearless role player whose motor never stops.

Harangody reportedly is back to diving for loose balls despite his repaired knee still being a bit tender. Now, if that isn't fearless, tobacco is healthy.

His college coach, Mike Brey, nailed it during their recent phone conversation.

"We had a great talk. He told me I'm at my best when I'm down and out," Harangody said.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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