On behalf of Metta Chronicles, I recently got a chance to catch up with NBA draft prospect Dash Harris out of Texas A&M to talk hoops and draft prep. If you don't know much about the Aggie point guard, pay close attention.
At Texas A&M, Harris was a top-notch defender and did a tremendous job distributing the rock and getting the ball to his teammates in easy-to-score situations. In his senior year, he started in 24 of the 25 games he appeared in and led the team in assists (4.1 assists per game) and steals (34 for the year) during the season.
On January 23, Dash injured his right foot prior to halftime against No. 5 Kansas which caused him to miss the next seven games. On February 22, he returned from injury against Kansas and finished the season strong.
He ended his career with 379 assists (seventh all-time at A&M), 140 steals (eighth all-time at A&M) and concluded his Aggie career as one of eight players in school history to total 300 assists and 100 steals.
As Harris prepares for the NBA Draft coming up in just a few weeks, I was fortunate to get a few moments of his time to learn more about the prospect.
Me: First off, congrats on finishing up your four years at Texas A&M. What's it feel like to look ahead and get on with the next step of your life?
Dash: Thanks a lot! I appreciate it. This time in my life has actually been pretty exciting. I've graduated, which was a goal set by my family and I. So with that being said basketball is my life now. My days consist of gym work, weights, more gym work and studying the game of basketball. Whether it's watching the playoffs, old film, or surfing different point guards on synergy. Basketball is now my profession, so I have began to treat it that way.
Me: Most of us know you as a player who makes his impact on defense. Is that what you'll bring at the next level? Or do you think there are other parts of your game that have gone unnoticed?
Dash: I am definitely known as a great defender and I take a lot of pride in my defense. My love for locking up my opponent is something that no one can take away from me. But on top of that I have a winning mentality. I think that goes unnoticed of course. I'll do whatever it takes to win, which explains why I am a "you first" and "me second" type of point guard. I believe in really being a point guard and getting my teammates involved before I look for myself as an individual. The main reason I watch and enjoy Rajon Rondo so much!
Me: I have a Baron Davis No. 5 UCLA jersey hanging on my wall. Being an LA kid, I grew up idolizing him. You have a strong connection with Baron, right? Have you had a chance to work out with him lately and get some feedback?
Dash: Haha, yea that's my brother man! I love that dude. I usually talk to him a few times a week and just keep him updated on how everything is going and how I'm feeling. We have the same agent, so he continues to have great insight and advice to share with me, due to the fact that he has been down this road before. Unfortunately because of his injury we have not been in the gym. But he has been in high spirits and I pray that he has a speedy recovery.
Me: The foot injury was a setback for you and the Aggies during your senior year. Is everything good now? Any lingering injury issues?
Dash: Yeah it was a setback for my team and I. I think we were coming into our own before I missed those seven games. And it eventually changed the outlook of our season. But everything happens for a reason. Physically I am doing well! No lingering or nagging injuries. It's been great being able to put in all this hard work, and at the same time get the proper treatment on my body needed to stay healthy.
Me: Whether it be a pick-up game or an organized NCAA game, who's the toughest guy you've ever guarded?
Dash: I've been asked that question a lot. Personally I don't think its tough for me to guard anyone unless there's just an absurd size advantage. But I can say my defensive game-plan for guarding Tyreke Evans was pretty complex! The size he has at the PG position, along with his ball-handling, and shot-making ability from anywhere caused me to bring out all of my defensive schemes.
Me: Lastly, do you have any advice for high school players getting ready for the college level?
Dash: Of course my first piece of advice is to stay in the books! As a student-athlete, competing on the floor comes after competing in class. Secondly, I would say be willing to sacrifice. That can apply in many different areas. Be willing to sacrifice playing video games to get that extra study time. Be willing to sacrifice personal goals for team achievement. A quote I love, and I've always lived by is "Sacrifice now to succeed later."
I can't say enough about how much I appreciate Dash for taking the time to come out and answer some of these questions. He's a real role model for student-athletes around the country, and it should be exciting to see what he does in the near future. I just want to say best of luck in the next few weeks, and all the hard work is bound to pay off!
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