Southern State Community College sophomore Ty Harris signs his National Letter of Intent to play Division II NCAA college basketball at Columbus State in Ga. (Submitted photo)
Southern State Community College sophomore Ty Harris signs his National Letter of Intent to play Division II NCAA college basketball at Columbus State in Ga.
(Submitted photo)
Southern State sophomore Ty Harris is adding to his basketball resumé, as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play NCAA Division II men's basketball at Columbus State University in Georgia.
   
Harris played one season of junior college basketball at SSCC this past winter, where he led the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (Division I) in assists per game with 8.6 wire-to-wire this season.
   
Harris spoke about the recruiting process.
   
"The process of picking a school was overwhelming," he said. "Columbus State caught me by surprise. The city was nice, the people were nice and it was just a good situation.
   
"I told the coach before I left this was it for me. I was relieved when I made my decision because I made visits for over a month. Now I can't wait to get started."
   
The SSCC sophomore, who played his first year of college basketball at Edison Community College, averaged 14.7 points per game this past season in 26 games played, as the Patriots finished 25-3 overall, No. 1 in the USCAA (Div. I) in scoring at 96.3 ppg as a team.
   
As a part of the Patriot team with the best record in school history, Harris shot 44.4 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.
   
"Ty has worked very hard to earn a full-ride athletic scholarship to Columbus State University," SSCC men's basketball head coach Travis McAvene said. "He has put this program on the map and proved he is one of the best players in school history.
   
"We were able to finish the season 25-3 because of Ty's leadership and refuse-to-lose attitude. He is signing with a very good NCAA Division II program, and they play in one of the toughest NCAA Division II conferences in the country (Peach Belt Conference)."
   
Harris scored a season-high 25 points on Jan. 23 in a game at Miami University-Middletown and followed that game with a 21-point effort at West Virginia University-Parkersburg on Jan. 26.
   
Also this season, Harris led SSCC to a triple-overtime win as he made an off-balanced, one-handed basket with less than two seconds on the clock in the third OT against WVU-P at the Patriot Center.
   
The newest member of the Cougars' basketball squad just wants to get started, but until then, he'll continue to work on his craft.
   
"I'm going to continue to work hard and lead the team as the point guard," Harris said. "I'm just going to continue to do what I do.
   
"Playing at Southern State this year was big for me. It helped me be more mentally prepared for games. I worked out more here, and I took my books more seriously. I'm blessed to earn the opportunity and earn the scholarship."
   
The new chapter of Harris' basketball career begins on Aug. 17 when he reports to campus, so until then, he said he'll continue to work to improve aspects of his game.
   
This past season, Columbus State finished 11-12 overall, as they are coached by Robert Moore.
   
"I'm going to continue to work out and add extra elements to my game," he said. "I just want to be able to help the team."
   
Harris also spoke more of his time in Hillsboro and at SSCC, as he's originally from New Orleans, La., though he played high school basketball at West Carrollton, near Dayton.
   
"Playing here was interesting," he said. "It was a bit of culture shock for me, but it helped prepare me for what I'm about to face.
   
"I had to really focus, and now I have to focus more than ever not only on basketball, but on my books as well."
   
Coach McAvene had some final words on Harris, his first recruit to SSCC.
   
"I have no doubt Ty will be a leader on and off the floor for the next two years at Columbus State," McAvene said. "Ty is a winner, and I expect him to achieve nothing but success at the next level."