Terrell Harris is a 190cm guard from Indiantown,Florida that just finished his college basketball career at Georgia Coll. (NCAA2) He started his basketball career at Mars Hill (NCAA2) in 2011 and then moved to Georgia College in 2012. As a senior he played 29 games averaging 24.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 4.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 76.8%. He concluded his college basketball career winning the All-PeachBelt Player of the Year 2016. Harris spoke to German Hoops before signing with Iserlohn in Germany.
Terrell thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Thanks for interviewing my man. It’s truly an honor to interview with you. This summer has been going great so far. I am in grind mode. I am training and preparing my body for my first professional season. I do not know what to expect so I want to make sure I am at the top of my game and that I am in the best shape of my life.
You have stated that your motto is “True desire in the heart for anything is God’s proof to you sent beforehand to indicate that it’s yours already”. How can you live by this motto in terms of having a desire to become a professional basketball player, but are still waiting for that to happen?
I read upon the greats of all time. I once heard that quote from Denzel Washington. True desire in the heart for anything good, which in my heart the love for the game of basketball. Is God proof to you sent beforehand to indicate that it is your already, before I even turn pro I had the desire to be great and to become a professional basketball player before it even happened. I have to be patient because everything takes time. I came to work hard to get to this point, my hard work will payoff soon.
You just finished an illustrious career at Georgia College(NCAA2). You were named All-PeachBelt Player of the Year. How excited are you to taste the professional waters and get signed by a professional team this summer?
I am very excited about becoming a professional basketball player. I know its going to be hard but I am accepting the challenge. I am confident in my abilities that I have been blessed with. My agent and I Alex Ihler at HBA Sports have been back and forth a lot. Hopefully we will have me signed to a team very soon. It’s all about being patient and trusting the process.
What do you know about European basketball in general? Your friends Skyler Bowlin and Tony Watson both have played professionally in Germany?
Skylar Bowlin and I have the same agent, we are not friends. He is someone that I will be calling soon to learn a lot about Euroball though. Tony Watson went to the rival high school as I did but I don’t know him. I have a few friends who has been played professional basketball in Europe. I really don’t know what to expect. I do know the game is very physical and all the players are very skilled. So my job this summer is to stay in the weight room like I have been and work on sharpening my skills.
You played at Georgia College(NCAA2) from 2013-2016. You had consistent strong stats your whole career there. How important was having this consistency early in your basketball career that will be vital for you to carry over into your professional career?
My entire career since high school I was always a consistent basketball player. I’m that guy that is going to get you 20 points at 50% rather than 30 – 40% from the field. My basketball game is smooth and under control. I do not play out of character which allows me to show my skill set. I think it’s very important to be efficient because it shows that you are reliable. If I am paying my employee to work for me I would want a reliable one, not someone who shows up and works occasionally.
As a senior you played 29 games averaging 24.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 4.0apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 59.1%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 76.8%. These stats definitely warrant getting an opportunity somewhere in the world. Do feel as you had the kind of senior season that you wanted stat wise or could it have been better?
This summer I wrote out that I will average 28.0ppg, 8rbg, 4apg, and 3spg. : 50% from 2 and 40% from 3 along with 90% from the free throw line. If I was to average what I wrote out I would have broken the peach belt conference single season scoring average set by Yandel Brown. I knew my team success was going to rely on how well I played so I took the responsibility to be a playmaker and I love that responsibility.
You really have had a very interesting college career which started at Mars Hill (NCAA2). Did you ever invite the kid who got kicked out to lunch? In a way he was instrumental in you getting a chance at Mars Hill?
No I did not invite the kid who was kicked out of Mars Hill College which opened the door for me to get an opportunity to play college basketball. If I was to see him today or later on in life I would love to take him to his favorite restaurant.
How much of a reason was the retirement of Thomas Nash for you wanting to transfer elsewhere?
It played a big reason. Coach Nash and I discussed me transferring towards the middle of the season to an NCAA division 1 school that his friends coached at. I just did not want to sit out a year from basketball just to go division 1 therefore I picked the best ncaa division 2 conference to come too.
Before starting at Georgia College, you redshirted your first year. It was one of the toughest years in your life. Who was most important for you in that year to learn the importance of patience?
My best friends who I call Brothers Aaron, Joey, and royal. They kept me in shape and stayed on top of me with training. I learned a lot from them the year I sat out.
Your biggest role model is your brother Tia who is in jail at the moment. He was supposed to go places as he was a talented player as a kid, but didn´t. How did his downfall make you stronger as a player and person?
His downfall made me realize that you cannot take the little things in life for granted. He also taught me that I had to outwork my completion to get what I want out of life. Seeing him incarcerated made me go harder in life so I can provide a way for him once he is released.
In your first two seasons at Georgia College, you lost and lost, but during the summer of 2015, you took piano lessons and as a senior the wins came and the team was 18-11 and over the 500 mark for the first time after three losing seasons. How was your patience and play on the court different than in your first two seasons there?
In high school we only lost 2 games my senior year, we won the state championship too. I did not know how to deal with losing. I had to understand that you have to know how to win. So having patience was key to trust in the process of becoming a winner. I had to grow as a person off the court and on the court. I became a better leader due to having better patience. Which allowed me to lead my teammates better and not get frustrated when things did not go as planned.
You were shooting the ball very well as a senior and as a result you kept getting the green light. Where did this overwhelming confidence suddenly come from?
I always had the abilities and skill set but I lacked confidence. After my first year of college I soon realized that I can be a professional. As the years grew on I gained more confidence. Coming into this year I just knew I was going to have a historic year. I wrote it out before it even happened. I trained and prepared to have such a season. Coach Gainous told me before the season I needed to average 25ppg for us to be successful. That was the mindset I had coming into the season.
Lets talk a little about your game. Would you classify yourself as a combo guard or just a pure shooting guard?
I would classify myself as a 6’3 6’4 scoring guard who makes plays. I can score in multiple ways. My midrange game is the strongest part of my game along with driving and finishing. I can use both hands at the rim which makes me hard to defend. If you are smaller than me I have the ability to post up, something I developed in college. As well as shooting the three at 37% my entire career in college. I can also get my teammates involved and I am a willing passer.
You are a guy that can fill up the stats sheet, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
My rebounding and defense is underrated, I have very long arms which allows me to defend well and grab rebounds for my height. I can guard the one through the three. I did so in college and high school.
As a senior you scored in double figures in 27 of 28 games. What would you say was your season highlight?
My best game was on the road at Lander the last game of the season. I got into a zone like I never experienced before. I scored my career high 39 points. I was able to get to my sweet spots on the court all night. They had no answer for me.
How did head coach Mark Gainous help you make that last step in getting prepared for that potential professional career?
Coach Gainous allowed me to play my game by giving me the green light. This year I was able to show that I was a versatile player on the court which caught the eyes of many agents. He also allowed me to lead this team which forced me to bring out my leadership skills. I led this team to a successful season.
Who won a one on one in practice last season at Georgia College, you or Dwight Anderson?
Dwight Anderson is a great player who can score the ball as well. He can shoot from deep off the dribble. We never played each other one on one but we always competed against each other in practice. If we ever play one on one I believe that I will win and I am pretty sure he think he would win, he supposed to because we are both competitors. I know one thing, you better have an ambulance on standby because we both hate to lose.
You have a good track record in making predictions. On August 31st, 2015 you wrote I will win Peach Belt player of the year and it happened on March 4th, 2016. If you had to write something now about when you will turn professional what would you write?
I will have a historic rookie season wherever I end up at.
When you were a kid, you wanted to be so much like your brother and he was Batman and you were Robin. Now it seems like you have grown to be Batman and your brother is looking for his identity. Do you feel like one day you two can find that same combination again with Batman and Robin?
Yes I do feel that way. He is just at low point in his life because of a few mistakes. Everyone make mistakes, he is paying his debt to society and once he is released he will not owe anyone nothing. I will help him get himself back on the right path to become successful.
If you had to construct an NBA Rushmore with 4 great NBA heads who would you chose?
MJ Kobe, Magic, and Kareem
What was the last movie that you watched?
The last movie I watched was “The Loft”
Thanks Terrell for the chat.