To the HSB nation, Coach Mike Harris has come to be known as “Big Mike”. A human pogo stick with super natural leaping abilities, Harris may be able to jump high but his passion for giving back and desire to mentor others is what has really soared to new heights. Just back from China, we got a chance to catch up with the reigning NBA D-League MVP and newest member of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, in this edition of Know Your HSBCAMPS Personnel (KYHSBCP).
Mike, you are a popular guy involved in a lot of different things. What drew you to HSBCAMPS and how did you get involved with the program?
My first visit to an HSBCAMP in Idaho last summer was what drew me to the program. I could see just how committed to excellence the coaching staff was, the organization of the camp, and the vast improvement in every participant. It was all on a very high level. There was a lot of excitement but also focus in the gym. I am longtime friend of Camp Director Carson Sofro as well.
Where does your passion for “giving back” come from”?
My passion for giving back comes from my upbringing. I had 4 brothers and 4 sisters and they always looked up to me as a positive influence and for advice and help. That always stuck with me and was something that I have wanted to carry on to others.
What was it like living in China so many miles from home?
I was living in Shanghai and it was quite exciting there just because there was so much to do. There are a lot of foreigners and always something going on. I had a nice 2 bedroom apartment and plenty of different places to eat so it was great.
How do the leagues out there compare to the others that you’ve played in?
It’s starting to get a lot better and more competitive, but the top teams are still somewhat dominant. The main thing they need to fix is the officiating. If they get real refs then the league won’t be so lopsided.
What are you most excited for this summer at HSBCAMPS?
I’m excited just to get out there and work with more kids and have fun.
Know that you probably have a lot of these but if you had to pick one, what is your most memorable or favorite basketball moment?
It would now be winning my first championship ever last year but being a part of the 22 game win streak with the Houston Rockets was pretty memorable as well.
Being someone who had really had to overcome a lot of up and downs in his professional career, what advice would you offer to young people trying to pursue a career in professional sports?
Never quit and let someone tell you that you can’t do something. That’s what fuels me.
Who would you say was your biggest mentor growing up?
My mom and grandma were my biggest but I looked up to my big cousin and my younger brother because of the way the sacrificed and continued to overcome.
Time for some trivia:
Where did you grow up?
Highest scoring game?
Best player you have ever had to guard?
Kobe or Lebron
If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go and why?
Limasal, Cypress it’s so beautiful and peaceful.
Mike, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to follow up with our readers. I know it’s late and you’ve had a long week. For those who don’t know Mike just returned from China, resigned with the Rockets, and had his first child Mila this week. Big congrats from the entire HSB family on the newest member of your family. Any final thoughts for the kids?
Remember its ok to be different and you can create your own path instead of following others..