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Older brother helps Hickman point guard

Friday, December 11, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 9:55 p.m. CST, Friday, December 11, 2009
Hickman senior point guard Lyle Harris, No. 3, catches his breath with his teammates during a Kewpies practice Dec. 10 at Hickman High School.

*CORRECTION: Lyle Harris was ineligible for last year's basketball season. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated why he was ineligible.

COLUMBIA — Senior Lyle Harris might be savoring his last year in Hickman's purple and gold basketball jersey a little bit more than others.

For senior high school athletes like Harris, every drill in practice and every tick of the game clock marks another step toward the inevitable end of their playing time. But when you miss an entire season, as Harris did last year because he was *ineligible , those final memories take on greater significance.

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"It was tough to watch my teammates winning games without me," Harris remembered about last season. "I missed playing in front of the crowd."

In order to get his basketball career back on track, Harris, 17, turned to a familiar face for guidance. Last summer, he lived and trained in St. Louis with his brother, Lance Harris, a professional basketball player in Greece and former Kansas State player.

The two completed the older Harris' workouts that included strength training, shooting and playing pickup games.

"He wasn't too happy about it," Lyle Harris said of his brother's reaction to last season's suspension. "That's why he helped me over the summer. He just keeps my head straight."

Turns out the younger Harris didn't have much of a choice.

"He made me move in with him," Lyle Harris said. "He cares a lot."

 

On the court, the offseason work with his brother seems to be paying dividends for the Kewpies point guard.  Lyle Harris has been Hickman's top scorer, averaging 18.3 points per game.  He is thriving under new head coach John Burns and is quick to note the important role his teammates and coaches have played in his success.

"Everybody has their night," Harris said of his scoring output in Hickman's first five games. "It's the team basically. We play together as a team — it comes from that."

"I think he's starting to understand what responsibility entails," Burns said of Harris. "He understands that people are counting on him to do stuff, whether it be off the court or on the court, and when he does that he has a lot of success and feels good about himself."

"In the time I've worked with him, he's really developed as a player and a person, and he's still in that process."


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Comments

Lauren Luque (Harris) December 11, 2009 | 12:43 p.m.

This article is troubling because it’s based off inaccurate information. First, I can assure that Lyle Harris was not suspended last season because of academic ineligibility. I know this because I am his older sister. The "real" reason Lyle was suspended last season, Mr. Scott Henneboehle should have a closer look into. In my opinion it was actually pretty ridiculous but you are welcome to form your own opinion. At one point in the article Lyle states that Lance wasn’t happy about the suspension, I believe he was referring to the reason he was suspended, not actually upset with Lyle by any means. Lance at one point told Lyle to let his suspension be his motivation for next season, which is why he worked him out this summer.
An article that had potential to be good turned bad within the first paragraph. It seems as if the reporter had the right idea but was not accurate. A person would think that there local paper would have the facts before actually publishing information. Yes, in this article Lyle acknowledges his suspension last season . Not once did he say anything about being ineligible because of his grades. He was under the assumption that Mr. Henneboehle only knew he was ineligible but a reason wasn’t given. I would like to know what facts where used to write this article. Where did the conclusion come from that Lyle was ineligible because of his grades.

(Report Comment)
Greg Bowers December 11, 2009 | 9:52 p.m.

Although in the original story, the reason for Lyle Harris' ineligibility was incorrect, Scott Henneboehle did some additional reporting on this story Friday. Both Harris' mother, Deborah, and Hickman Athletic Director Doug Mirts declined to reveal the reason Lyle Harris was ineligible last season.

Greg Bowers, Sports Editor

(Report Comment)
Ann Davis December 12, 2009 | 12:19 p.m.
This comment has been removed.

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