Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sean Harris to go from 49er to Aggie

photo courtesy of Brian Drake/Appeal Democrat

It was a lot of little things that added up to a big one recently when Yuba College frontcourter Sean Harris offered a commitment to Coach Stew Morrill and Utah State.

Speaking with Yuba Coach Doug Cornelius recently provided the opportunity to learn more about both Harris and the background of his decision.

Harris was the team MVP as a senior at Rocklin High. At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, he averaged 16.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals and blocked two shots a game. 

He then moved over to Yuba College and put up 14.9 points and 11.7 rebounds a contest in the 2007-08 season in which Yuba went 32-4. "He was the MVP for us too," Cornelius said.

Then it was almost UC Santa Barbara for him, but Harris signed a letter-of-intent with Coach Jim Les and Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference after sorting through multiple D-1 offers. He would have three years of eligibility remaining.

At that point, it was a period of time off to prepare for his LDS mission in San Pedro, Honduras scheduled to begin in August 2009.

While Harris was on his mission, Les (now the head coach at UC Davis) was let go at Bradley in early March 2011 and Harris eventually asked for and received his BU release.

He returned to the United States in early July 2011 as a college basketball free agent so to speak. It was then decided that a second season at Yuba was the best route to take.

Here's Cornelius on his 6-foot-8 sophomore: "Sean had offers from Utah State, UC Santa Barbara and Idaho, with UC Davis and BYU really interested. He went to Utah State and fell in love with it. He thought it was a great social fit. They showed him love and he is a very loyal kid. Sean came back and said, 'Coach, I'm done.'"

It didn't even take witnessing a game in The Spectrum, Wild Bill and all, to win Harris over.

What's fascinating is that BYU was Harris' dream school, plus his mother went there. But even without the Jimmer, the Cougar roster has three freshman -- one at 6-foot-8, two at 6-foot-10, also a 6-foot-9 sophomore, a 6-foot-8 junior plus a 6-foot-9 junior. Such played a factor in Harris' decision to go with Aggieville.

Cornelius continued, "Sean hasn't played in three years but is an extremely hardworking kid with a high motor. I call him a skilled four, someone skilled and strong who really runs the court. He has put on 15-20 pounds of muscle and is going to be a really hard matchup but first he needs to get his legs back.

As always, Yuba will be in the fight for a state championship in the upcoming season with Harris as a key component.

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