Jerrick Harding launches BCL edition of “Dame Time”

2021-10-15T10:14:54+00:00 2021-10-15T10:21:07+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

15/Oct/21 10:14

Early in his second season at ERA Nymburk, Jerrick Harding takes a page out of one of his favorite players, Damian Lillard

By Johnny Askounis/

A 14-point lead for ERA Nymburk was nearly not enough against PAOK in Greece. With a few seconds remaining, the Basketball Champions League Regular Season Round 2 game seemed drifting away, but Jerrick Harding sank the buzzer-beating game-winner. He made it count when it mattered the most, even though the last play of Tuesday’s exciting contest certainly did not go according to plan.

“I can’t really say how I did it,” he mentioned in the postgame press conference while enjoying the personal and team triumph at Thessaloniki, “I just saw the ball came loose. I was like ‘we got to hurry and get a shot up’. That’s all I was thinking. I am just happy and went in.”

Harding, 23, two years out of Weber State remains the all-time leading scorer of the successful program. He finished his four-year NCAA career with 33 points in a loss to Sacramento State. His 2,226 points in 122 career games ranked him first above fourth-placed Damian Lillard and second-placed Jeremy Senglin, among others. He also had the third-most points in Big Sky Conference history.

In 2017-18, Harding logged the standing record of the most points in a single game for Weber State firing 46 versus Montana State. In his senior year, he poured 44 in the second out of the three 2019-20 meetings with Sacramento State. Lillard’s personal bests were 41 against San Jose State and 40 against Portland State in 2011-12.

Senglin, 26, currently in Europe as a member of Nanterre 92, became the Weber State all-time leading scorer surpassing Bruce Collins in 2015-16. His tenure lasted only three years with his 2016-17 teammate coming in to knock him out of the top position.

Besides specifically the points, Harding further established himself as one of the best to ever play for the Wildcats being in the Top 10 of 12 different categories, including the all-time leader in free throw percentage. Back in 2016, he chose Weber State, partly because Lillard, one of his all-time favorite players, himself led the Wildcats from 2008 to 2012.

Lillard, 31, was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 6th overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft. He has been nicknamed “Dame Time” for making multiple clutch shots. Harding, born and raised in Wichita, did not receive a selection in the 2020 NBA draft. He instead moved to the Czech Republic penning his first professional contract on August 4, 2020. He presented his own version of “Dame Time” early in his second season at Nymburk.

The prolific scorer was among the players carried from 2019-20 to 2020-21 despite the several adjustments made during the offseason. He started his second BCL campaign with 21 points in the loss to Galatasaray Nef. He went on with the game-high 22 points along with four rebounds, three assists, and one steal in Round 2. His game-winning effort, besides echoing “Dame Time” and hitting up the first place in the Top 5 Plays of the week, got Nymburk to 1-1 and three points in Group E with four more fixtures left in the round-robin schedule. The top team will clinch a berth to the Round of 16, while the second and third will move to the Play-Ins to compete for the remaining spots leading to the next round. Simply, the difference between 0-2 to 1-1 is massive.

“Credit to PAOK. A very good team, very aggressive. I feel like in the fourth quarter they kind of got to us, we had a lot of turnovers,” he said after the first win of the 2021-22 Champions League season recalling the hosts coming back from the 14-point deficit, “It was a fight the whole night. Honestly, I am happy we came out with the win.”

Nymburk, a lasting Basketball Champions League original has gone from multiple heartbreaking eliminations in FIBA’s premier European club continental competition to two consecutive appearances in the quarterfinals under the guidance of the previous head coach Oren Amiel. Aleksander Sekulic, the successor and former assistant of the Israeli boss, also the head coach of the Slovenia senior national team and Luka Doncic at the international level, will be counting on similar contributions from Harding for yet another extended run.

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League