Houston Rockets’ Montrezl Harrell Cited in Louisville Scandal

By Joshua Van Horn

After terrific play in the summer league, and a chance to get to play with Houston Rockets superstars in the preseason, rookie forward Montrezl Harrell finds his name mentioned among Louisville Alumni who were involved in a recruitment scandal.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines released a piece detailing a Louisville recruitment tactic in which Andre McGee, a former men’s basketball graduate assistant coach, payed escorts to engage in sexual activities with potential recruits.

In a book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” Katina Powell, a former escort, claims that McGee would pay her to organize parties at campus dorms that involved strippers and sex for money.

Several former Louisville players are mentioned in the piece, including Harrell. Katina’s 22 year old daughter, Rod Ni Powell, claims she was paid to have sex with Harell. “Montrezl was there, and I don’t know, I guess he felt left out. He just kind of asked me if I would do it, and I did it. I got paid maybe $100, maybe a little more.” Rod Ni Powell said.

When asked about the encounter earlier this month, Harrell denied his alleged involvement. “I don’t know anything about it,” Harrell said. “I didn’t too much stay at the dorm. I stayed off campus. I had a girlfriend off campus. … It was pretty shocking that took place, if it did. I’m right there with Coach [Pitino], as shocked as he is.

Whether Harrell was involved or not is up for debate. If the allegations are true, the weight will fall on whoever had a hand in organizing the parties. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino denies having any knowledge of the parties taking place, saying, if he had, “it would have been stopped on a dime.”

While Harrell may feel uneasy about his name being mentioned among players involved in the scandal, it is his former coach who should be worried, seeing that his job is likely to be on the line. Harrell, who is no longer at Louisville, needs to focus on his new job– making the Rockets roster, and finding ways to contribute to the team. With the start of the NBA season close, hopefully Harrell can leave the past behind him.

As always, stay connected with Space City Scoop as we continue to keep you posted on all things Rockets and don’t miss the rest of our Player Profile Series or the Complete Round Table Sessions as we creep ever closer to regular season tip-off.

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