For his part, Harris did not disappoint his team and coaches’ trust in him.
Whether driving to the basket for a layup, hitting a crucial three-point basket, finding a teammate for an easy shot or grabbing a key steal or rebound to disrupt the opposition’s momentum, Harris proved a viable threat on both sides of the ball — often recording double-double performances to lead the Tornadoes.
He is the Daily Mountain Eagle Player of the Year.
Harris improved every facet of his game from his sophomore to his junior year.
He averaged 1.8 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 more steals than he did in the 2011-12 season, as well as scoring 141 more points.
Harris finished the season averaging 15.7 points, and 8.6 rebounds per game. His 5.3 steals per game and 6.3 assists per game ranked second and fourth in the state, respectively according to maxpreps.com.
Accolades were also plentiful for Harris.
He was named as the Most Valuable Player in the Walker County and Class 1A, Area 13 Tournaments, as well as named to the Walker County, Area 13 and Northwest Regional All-Tournament teams.
Harris also surpassed the 1,000 point mark in his career at Parrish during the Area 13, 1A Tournament.
“Mike had a fantastic year. He’s a leader by example — he’s not a vocal leader unless he has to be. He just loves to play the game,” Parrish coach Heath Burns said. “You look at him out on the court at times and think he’s at the point of exhaustion, but he’ll grab a steal, race across the floor and dunk it before he goes on a 6-0 run. He’s a phenomenal talent, a fierce competitor and an outstanding young man.”
A key performance for Harris came in the Walker County Tournament Championship game against Carbon Hill, where he proved to be the catalyst in Parrish’s thrilling, fourth period, come-from-behind victory.
With six minutes left in regulation and down 43-36, the Tornadoes went on a 10-5 run to draw the game within two points, 48-46.
From there, Harris was fouled three times and connected on all six of the free throw shots, capping off a 21-point, 10-rebound performance on the night and earning him Most Valuable Players honors, along with a 54-48 title-clinching win for Parrish.
Burns said that Harris’ work ethic and desire to win is an indicator of the unlimited potential he has as a player.
“I’ve never seen a young man who wants to win as badly as he does. He comes to work every day with a 'you can’t beat me' attitude — whether it’s in practice or in games,” Burns said. “I hope he continues to progress as he has done this year into next year — and beyond next year as well. He has a very high ceiling and is more than capable of doing anything he wants to in life.”
EAGLE ELITE BOYS
Jermichael Harris — Parrish
Gerald Smith — Carbon Hill
Barry Hill — Parrish
DeAngelo Pendleton — Dora
Jamaal Cooper— Cordova
Garrett Kirkland — Carbon Hill
Spencer Fikes — Curry
Caleb May — Dora
Deionte Smith — Dora
Quinton Harris — Oakman
Reginald Harris — Parrish
Carbon Hill’s Daniel Woodard; Corner’s Blake Byrd and Austin Sanford; Curry’s Jarrod Owens; Lynn’s Ben Cagle; Meek’s Seth Hayes and Jentson Hiller; Oakman’s Eli Farley; Parrish’s Desmond Brown and Tyler Sims, Sumiton Christian’s DeMonte Hobbs and Vann Lovelady and Walker’s Denzell Daley