Locker Room Talk: James Harrison, Lamar University Guard
Written by Greg Harris
As Modern Life Mag has grown over the years, we've always have shifted our focus on the arts that drive out culture. From featuring some of the brightest emerging artists in the game to some of the most polarizing creatives who are making their mark, Modern Life has stood by and put on for individuals who are breaking barriers in the respective lane. As we continue to grow more each day, we wanted to give an artistic flair for sports.
If you've been following the site for a couple of months, you can see how the site has shifted the focus on sports from a critical standpoint with our content, but along with the reviews we'll have on players, teams, and topics, the feature aspect needs to be added to the formula. In this first edition of our sports interview series, "Locker Room Talk", we bring forth a sharpshooting guard from Houston, James Harrison. After having a robust successful run with now Orlando Magic rookie, Wesley Iwundu in high school, Harrison has blazed a path for himself as a journey in the NCAA. Globe-trotting across various colleges in his career, Harrison finally finds a home in Beaumont, TX at Lamar University, a rising program in the Southland Conference who plan to make a big splash and head into NCAA tournament this upcoming season.
In our conversation with Harrison, we spoke to him about playing in high school era that included the likes of the Harrison Twins, Justice Winslow, De'aaron Fox and more, what he has learned while playing in college, what are his goals for this season, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life?
My Modern life is good man. I can’t complain.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up in the morning?
Three things I do when I wake up is Thank God for another day, brush my teeth and check my phone haha.
Growing up in Houston, how was your upbringing?
It was fun man, if I could go back to my elementary, middle school days I would. I couldn’t ask for better parents God has blessed me with. The people I’ve met including Gregory Harris, Garner Harris, Dennis Ellis, Wesley Iwundu to name a few are lifelong friends of mine.
How would you say Houston differentiates itself from any other city in the country?
I feel like Houston is the best city in the U.S. It’s just way we move out there. The atmosphere there is crazy.
Coming out of a city that’s been known for its success in football, how do you feel as a basketball player rising in the city?
Yeah man, football is big in Houston, especially at my high school. But people didn’t sleep on the basketball players. We had some ball players out in the city who could really play and word got out about them. So when it was basketball season, people would come out to watch because of all the talk and hype surrounding that player. To this day basketball is still rising in the city of Houston.
During the time of playing high school basketball, you were coming up during an era where you playing with or against with the likes of Wesley Iwundu, De’aaron Fox, The Harrison Twins, Justin Jackson, and more. How does it apart of such a prolific era of Houston Basketball?
Honestly, during that time I felt like high school basketball was at its best. Therefore I am glad to say I was able to play in that era because it molded me into the player I am today. The talent level and competitiveness during that time was unreal and that, as a basketball player is what you want because it brings the best out of you.
Since your days after Westfield, you’ve landed onto the college basketball scene with the University of New Orleans. How was your experience there and how did that experience help you become a basketball player?
The University of New Orleans was a great stepping stone for me, even though it didn’t work out there for me. The coaches there and players welcomed me as a freshman and made me feel at home. That year there has made me an even better player not only physically but more so mentally.
After staying there one year, you’ve transferred between different JUCO and Division 1 schools, how has this period in your college career enhance your level of thinking as a player?
As time goes on and you get more familiar with the division 1 level. Your thinking becomes more sharp. College basketball is a fast paced game but as my thinking of the game became better, it actually slowed the game down for me, I’m not in such a rush anymore.
Now coming back to Texas with attending Lamar University in Beaumont, how does it feel to be back in the Southland Conference?
Feels good man, I honestly felt like I shouldn’t of left the Southland. Southland is a great conference. Believe it or not, this a very talented conference and is only getting better.
Since you transferred from D1 to D1, what did you learn in your first year sitting out at Lamar University?
Sitting out last year just taught me to keep a leveled head. It’s also a blessing because I was able to stay Division 1 despite all my trials and tribulations.
What are some things you are excited about this season at Lamar?
I’m excited to bring a championship back to Lamar. We have a lot of guys back, critical guys at that and we were picked to win it in the preseason polls. Now we have to go out there and do it.
Why do you think you guys are going to claim the Southland conference championship?
Because we had a great chance to do it last year and this year, we have an even better opportunity to do so especially with the guys who are back.
What are three goals of yours this season?
Three goals would include at least making one of the all-conference teams and defensive team and cutting down the nets
What is one quote you live by?
The quote I live by is the Serenity Prayer. I grew up in the church home, so I’m always going by bible verses and motivational quotes.
How do you want to get better this season?
I want to get better at all aspects of my game including ball handling, creating my own shot, shooting, whether it’s off the dribble or spot up. But most of all get better mentally. Being mentally strong especially in basketball is a huge aspect and that can either make you or break you
When it’s all said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered by that kid who finally found a program where he was able to spread his wings and even though he only played for a year, he created a legacy.