When Harvard's senior-to-be point guard withdrew from school in the wake of a highly publicized academic cheating scandal over the summer, an opening came up for freshman Siyani Chambers, the former Hopkins High School star.
Chambers didn't go to Harvard with expectations of being a big factor right away.
“I just came here to learn right away and just try to fit in where I fit in,” Chambers told the school's newspaper in a recent story. “If the coaches ask me to do something, I’ll do that to the best of my ability.”
On Tuesday, the best of his ability, resulted in Chambers playing the full 40 minutes in Harvard's 67-64 loss to Massachusetts, a game that started at 10 a.m. as part of ESPN's 24-hours of basketball tip-off. Chambers had 14 points, seven assists, five rebounds and only one turnover -- keeping his team in the game when the Crimson got off to a poor start in the first half.
Here's the boxscore from that game, which also includes another Minnesotan -- De La Salle grad Jonah Travis -- on the Harvard roster.
A few days ago, Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said of Chambers: “I’m not sure we’ve had a kid here in my tenure thus far coming in at a level of understanding, of a feel, of picking things up as quickly as he has been able to."
For his part, Chambers told the Crimson's Catherine Coppinger: that playing at Hopkins was ideal preparation for college basketball: “My high school team was pretty competitive, and we had a really good coach. I think that helped ease the transition [to college]. Before I came [to Harvard] I already knew how to work hard."
Hopkins won Class 4A state titles in 2009 and 2010 before losing to Osseo in last season's section finals, a triple-overtime game in which Chambers scored 31 points, including the basket that sent the game into overtime.
You can read the full story from the Crimson here.