By Francis Abbamonte
Redshirt senior forward Steve Harris’ basketball career at East Stroudsburg University is over, but it was one heck of a ride.
Steve and the rest of the ESU Men’s basketball team had multiple accomplishments this season such as, “1st team All-PSAC East and NABC 2nd team All-Atlantic Region…. named PSAC Tournament MVP and Atlantic Regional MVP” according to The Official Athletics Site for the East Stroudsburg Warriors.
“It was a real fun year and I can’t think of a better way to go out as a senior,” said Harris.
In addition it was reported on the Athletic Site that, the Men’s basketball team got the, “1st Atlantic Regional Championship in program history…. ESU’s 3rd PSAC championship in 7 years, 5th PSAC East regular season title in 9 years and 5th NCAA Tournament appearance in 9 years.”
Harris played a major role and contribution in the Men’s basketball team successes this season.
Harris has played five seasons with ESU from 2013 to 2018 but due to an ankle injury that occurred last season he was placed as a redshirt senior this previous season.
The statistics reported by the ESU Athletics site state that over those five years Harris has accumulated 1080 points, 103 steals, 74 blocks, 107 assists, 668 rebounds, .625 free throw percentage, and a .638 field goal percentage.
Now that the season is over, Steve turned back the clock and talked about when his love basketball began.
“Ever since I could remember I was always playing sports. I have two older brothers and the middle brother is two and half years older than me. We were extremely competitive between the two of us. I was always competing in sports and always competing with my brothers and his friends,” said Harris
Harris continued by saying,“ Then when I was in my sophomore-junior year of high school, I was working on the fundamentals of the game, technique and things that separate you from a high school level to the college level. My old coach said I caught the basketball bug. I was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave not because I felt like I had to work harder but because I didn’t want to stop playing basketball. I love the feeling you get when you have that orange basketball in your hands”.
After high school, Harris talked about the decision process in regards to picking a college to play basketball for.
“ I had a lot DIII looks, only a few DII looks and one DI look. ESU was first school to offer me a scholarship. I visited here in the fall and walked around with Coach Wilson and Coach Potts. It clicked, felt great and felt at home. I would visit other colleges and campuses and I wouldn’t get the excitement that I got here. I loved the school ever since I got here in 2013 and I’m going to miss it when I leave” stated Harris.
Harris suffered an ankle injury last season and talked about how he felt and what got him through the physical rehab to play again.
“That was pretty tough for me. The big injury I had was on November 30th of last year and since that incident I twisted my ankle two times after that giving me the redshirt officially. I had seven ankle injuries during a year and some time. It was mentally draining.”
Steve continued, “It was difficult at the time but I think going through all that propelled me to have the year that I had”.
Harris has scored over one thousand points at ESU and he talked about the reaction he had after the announcer told the crowd he reached one thousand points during the PSAC Championship versus Gannon.
“It was kind of everything. I scored an and one. I made the free throw which gave me exactly one thousand and that was the last basket of the PSAC Championship game,” said Harris
Harris continued, “To have that moment at the very end where everything comes into fruition at once. It is emotional. It is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life”.
“It is a good feeling being able to cement yourself in history and a even better feeling to have my team cement ourselves in history and that moment was very special to me” said Harris.
Harris, who is from Hamilton, NJ, has a concentration in communication and is majoring in broadcasting with a minor in history. He will be graduating at the graduation ceremony in May.
He has hired an agent with hopes of playing overseas after graduation. Harris is keeping his options open with his career in sports and life after sports.
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