Damone Harris has been able to stay healthy and raise his game in the absence of some of his injured teammates this season for Timon-St. Jude.
The 2013 season hasn’t gone according to plan for the Bishop Timon-St. Jude basketball team. The team has suffered so many injuries to key players that the amount of games in which they’ve played with a healthy roster can be counted on one hand.
With top players Donte Williams and Bryant Fulton missing significant time throughout the season, one player has been looked at to be the foundation of the team in both the offensive and defensive ends.
Damone Harris is one of the few members of the Timon squad that has managed to stay healthy throughout the season, only missing the first couple games of the season due to personal issues. Because of that, he’s been relied upon to be the go-to guy on the floor for his team. It’s a role that he feels he’s been able to manage pretty well given the circumstances.
“I feel like I’ve handled it well,” he said. “I just rely on my teammates to get me the ball, and I just try and do things I know I’m capable of; things that my coach has been telling me all year that I’m capable of.”
Head coach Joe Mihalics knows what a presence Harris can be on the court, and isn’t shy when it comes to praising his big man.
“Damone’s the best big men in the league,” he said. “He’s one of the top big men in the area.”
Arguably one of the biggest young men in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association, Harris uses his large 6’5” frame to his advantage on a nightly basis to help his team in whatever way possible which includes using his body to bounce away defenders to create space to make passes.
“I just, you know, use my body well to get the ball and keep possessions for us,” he said.
In just his third year of organized basketball, Harris has come a long way in his game. From being a tall, lanky kid looking to get on the team to becoming one of the top players at his position, Harris has done a lot in such a short period of time. Mihalics said that while there are parts of his game he needs to work on, for Harris to do what he has done in the past few years goes to show what type of kid he is.
“He’s put the work in,” said Mihalics. “He put on a good fifteen pounds this summer working out. That’s what we need all our guys to do, work hard and get in the weight room hard.”
One key aspect to Harris’ game is the passion he plays with. Always one to yell and get his team fired up during crucial points during games, Harris said it’s all about the pride he plays with. Going out and playing hard for his school is what keeps him motivated each and every day.
“Everyone knows I’m going to be fired up for big games. For any game,” he said. “I feel, when I put on our jersey, I feel honored to put on that jersey. Anytime I put on that jersey I want to perform the best I can for everyone.”
And while Harris is enjoying the extra attention he receives as the result of Fulton and Williams being out of the lineup, he is looking forward to the day the two players return.
“I feel like we can be Monsignor Martin Manhattan Cup champions,” said Harris. “I feel that nothing can stop us when we’re healthy.”