- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Hyde Park senior guard Fabyon Harris really didn't want to de-commit from Southern Methodist earlier this week.
He had already pulled out of a verbal commitment to Northern Colorado and opted instead for Southern Methodist because it was where he truly wanted to play college basketball. Plus, the last thing he wanted to do was to devote time to the process again after going through an emotionally draining month when three people in his life were killed by gunfire.
But when Southern Methodist recently decided to offer another point guard because it was unsure Harris would receive a qualifying score on his ACT, Harris felt he had no other choice but to start over again.
"[Southern Methodist coach] Matt Doherty wants him to sign, but why sign and go through all that and they don't have a scholarship for him?" Hyde Park coach Donnie Kirksey said. "My kid's not going to have a scholarship."
Instead, Harris, a 5-foot-8 point guard, is back on the market, and Baylor, DePaul, Fairfield, Florida State, Houston and Southern Illinois already have all expressed interest in him.
Harris will make an official visit to DePaul on Wednesday evening, Kirksey said.
Whichever school he commits to, there won't be any concerns over him being a qualifier. Just recently, he discovered that he had earned a 19 on his ACT.
"I was a little surprised when I got it," said Harris, who averaged 26 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals last season. "I thought I might get a 17. I was surprised I got a 19. I cried. It was crazy. I cried my little eyes out."
Tears have been a constant in Harris' life throughout the past month. They began just after an all-star game practice on April 13 when he received a phone call that his brother, Fasion Robinson, had been shot in the back and killed on Chicago's South Side. Twelve days later, his close friend Izael Jackson was killed after exchanging gunshots with Chicago police. Since then, he also has had a cousin murdered by someone who walked up and shot him in the head.
"He's dealing with a lot now," Kirksey said.
Harris said he hasn't come to grips with everything yet. Even as he was being interviewed on Wednesday, he described his mind as being cloudy.
"It's been too crazy," Harris said. "It doesn't seem real right now. I've have been trying to focus in school, and people are telling me, 'You got to concentrate.' Every time I stop doing work, I keep crying and thinking."
The tragedies are also playing a part in his recruitment. While DePaul could be a good option for him, Harris isn't sure whether he wants to remain in Chicago any longer.
"I do want to get away," Harris said. "At the same time, my family is still here. I got to look after my baby brother. It's like a 50-50."
Kirksey was unsure as well.
"The only setback with DePaul may be that he needs a change in environment," Kirksey said. "But I think DePaul, with not only the coaches, but with [athletic director] Jeanie [Lenti Ponsetto] involved and the people they have in there and the love he has from the coaches here and with me, we could embrace that kid, and he could have a great career at DePaul."
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.