Joe Harris commits
Chelan Goat basketball fans have one more year to watch and enjoy Joe Harris' exciting style of play on the basketball court before he enters college at the University of Virginia.
Joe Harris recruited by University of Virginia
by Richard Uhlhorn
Joe Harris has been playing basketball since he was a toddler. It's a rare day that he doesn't practice the game. Several years ago, him mom, Alice, told me that she always knows when Joe gets up because the first thing she hears is the basketball hitting the floor.
While Joe's dreams have not come full circle, a major step towards his ultimate goal of playing the game in the NBA was reached on Monday, August 3, when he verbally committed to play for the University of Virginia Cavaliers after he graduates from high school.
"My recruitment was pretty much up in the air until Monday," said Harris. He had made an unofficial visit to the University of Virginia earlier and when WSU Coach Tony Bennett took the head coaching job at Virginia, young Joe was convinced on several levels that this is the school he would like to attend.
"I felt comfortable with Coach Bennett and I trust him," said Harris. Bennett, who successfully coached the Cougars through three seasons, played in the NBA for the Charlotte Hornets as a point guard. In 2007, he was named the National Coach of the Year.
"We met Coach Bennett this spring when he was recruiting in Chelan," said Coach Joe Harris, Joe's father. "I think his move to Virginia has a lot to do with Joe's decision, and he (Bennett) has been pretty high on Joe for a longtime."
The Harris' allowed Joe the latitude to find his niche. "We did not put any boundaries on his decision," said his father. "The campus is beautiful and the facilities are superb." Harris went on to say that he has never limited Joe's opportunities. "If he never took a risk, it might limit him. Look at the opportunities that this could open up for Joe."
"I liked the school for its academics also," said Joe. "If I don't make it beyond college play, I'll have something to fall back on." While he hasn't made any concrete decisions to a major, he believes he will focus on business or business related courses.
However, he still has one more year as a Chelan Goat, and one more year to thrill Chelan's basketball fans with his skill as a basketball player. "I'm pretty excited, but I'm going to focus on our season and try to win as state title," stated Joe.
As far as playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference far from home, Joe said, "Virginia plays on television a lot."
He expects to sign his letter of intent in November.
GoLakeChelan would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Joe Harris on his accomplishments so far and his future. As his dad said, "A lot of the guys who have played for me are calling up and telling me how cool it is for Joe."
Look for an interview soon with Dave Rogge.