Digital Mag Issues
VYPE/Gullo Athlete of the Month -- Westfield's James Harrison
March 15, 2013VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
VYPE/Gullo Athlete of the Month
By Austin Statin
Westfield basketball was a dominant force in the city of Houston this season. They rolled through their district slate posting a perfect 16-0 mark against District 13-5A foes, but their magical ride came to an end in an overtime loss against Richardson Berkner.
On a team that featured athletic and talented players, senior James Harrison asserted himself as one of the area’s premier shooting guards. In the Mustangs Class 5A Region II semifinal loss to Berkner, Harrison posted a game-high 25 points and extended the game to overtime after draining two free throws with just 3.8 seconds left on the clock.
But it wouldn’t be enough.
“The loss hurt but we came into that game knowing that we had to play our best because Berkner is one of the top teams in the state,” says Harrison. “I thought we could have gone further in the playoffs but everything happens for a reason. We had a great season and it was a blessing to play with my brothers on the basketball court.”
As a junior, Harrison was named a first-team, all-District performer and shared the district’s co-MVP honors this season with fellow teammate and Kansas State-signee Wesley Iwundu.
“It was a blessing to play with Wesley,” he says. “He’s one of my brothers and closest friends. We push each other to make each other better. It will be difficult knowing that I won’t be able to wear the Westfield basketball jersey again but you have to move on.”
Crediting his coaches and teammates for helping him improve as a student-athlete, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard will continue his basketball career next fall at New Orleans.
While the Houston area identified Harrison as an elite shooter, he says that he will work on his ball-handling skills to help balance his strengths of penetrating into the lane, getting to the free throw line and dishing out dimes to open teammates.
“Everyone knows me as a shooter, but my game is versatile,” he says. “The college game is a lot tougher and features players with more size and strength. To stay competitive, improving my ball-handling skills will be important as well as hitting the weight room while staying consistent with my shot.”
Although his prep career is in the history books, Harrison says that he is eagerly looking forward to playing basketball at the next level but will miss the practices with his Westfield coaches and teammates.
“We could do it all,” he says of his team. “It was a blessing to play with these guys because of the athleticism, depth and our brotherhood.”