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Basketball has made transition easier for Coyle newcomer Eric Harris

HOOP DREAMS - The Bluejackets have shown improvement, too, since Harris transferred in from Chicago
by Scott Wright Published: February 13, 2013
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photo - HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Coyle basketball player Eric Harris poses for a photo at Coyle High School in Coyle, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Harris lived in Chicago his entire life until moving with his father to Oklahoma and starting school at Coyle last December. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Coyle basketball player Eric Harris poses for a photo at Coyle High School in Coyle, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Harris lived in Chicago his entire life until moving with his father to Oklahoma and starting school at Coyle last December. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

But those numbers hardly scratch the surface of the lifestyle changes Harris has endured since arriving in Coyle on Dec. 1. But basketball was one of the easiest pieces of the change.

Harris gelled quickly with his new teammates, and since he joined the team, Coyle has continued to show consistent improvement, now ranked fifth in Class B.

“With him joining us halfway, our team chemistry needed a few games to gel, but everyone has taken him in,” Coyle coach Josh Sumrall said. “They don't see him as a threat. In fact, they've learned he can really pass the ball, and if you're open, he'll get you the ball. The camaraderie has been great, and he gives us another weapon.”

The Bluejackets will face Cave Springs in Beggs at 8 p.m. Thursday in the regional winner's bracket. Harris is averaging 10.7 points and 4.7 assists since joining the team, and more importantly, he's opening up the offense for others, including 6-foot-6 forward Tony Aska.

“I think Tony's the best player in Class B, and some other classes,” Sumrall said of Aska, who averages 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. “Teams really key on Tony, and they've had to adjust and guard Eric a little closer, too. So it's opened things up for Tony and everybody is benefiting from it.”

Coyle wasn't just a random landing spot for Harris' father, also named Eric Harris. He was an All-America basketball player at Langston, and one of his older sons played there as well.

So the younger Eric Harris knew the type of world he was moving to, and the transition couldn't have been smoother.

“I'm enjoying myself,” he said. “Having the time of my life.”

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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