Harris Anxious To Start UVa Career

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Harris sees action at the 1, 2 and 3 spots at Lake Chelan

In just three months, Joe Harris will travel across the country from Lake Chelan (WA) to Charlottesville to begin his college career. Harris, one of five high school seniors to sign with Virginia’s men’s basketball program last November, recently concluded a stellar high school career in which he amassed 2,398 points.

Lake Chelan finished with a 25-2 record in 2009/2010, finishing fifth in the Class 1A state playoffs. Harris isn’t sure what his statistics were, but for his senior year performance he earned conference player of the year and first-team all-state honors. And, most recently, the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association named Harris Mr. Basketball, an honor given to the state’s top player regardless of classification.

“It was a fun season,” said Harris. “I got a chance to play with all my friends one more time. It was my last season with my dad as my coach.

“I grew more as a player this year. I was a lot more physical this year. I got a lot stronger in the off-season. I got a lot bigger. I improved on the defensive end.”

Six-foot six and just over 200 pounds, Harris likely projects as a two or a three at UVa. He ran the point at Lake Chelan, however, and could get a look there at Virginia as well.

“Coach Bennett and Coach McKay have thrown out the idea of me running the point,” Harris said. “I ran point for our high school team. I need to improve my ball-handling, but I feel like I can play any position they need me to play.”

Since Lake Chelan’s season came to an end earlier this month, Harris has been in the gym, lifting weights, working on his overall athleticism and working on his ball-handling. Strength, quickness and ball-handling are areas he wants to improve in before the start of his freshman season. What areas is he most confident about?

“I think I definitely can contribute shooting in my first year,” Harris said. “I have a lot