July 17, 2014
By Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Jasmine Harris is coming home. Sort of.
Harris, a graduate of North Farmington High School in suburban Detroit, is the newest member of the Central Michigan women's basketball team.
The 6-foot-1 guard transferred from UMass and will have junior eligibility after sitting out the 2014-15 season under NCAA transfer rules.
"It definitely feels like coming home," said Harris, who averaged 20.8 minutes, 8.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 57 games (25 of them starts) at UMass.
Harris posted outstanding numbers (20 points and 10 rebounds a game) at North Farmington, from which she graduated in 2012 after earning Third Team Class A All-State honors from the Detroit Free Press.
She also played AAU ball with several current Chippewas, including senior-to-be Crystal Bradford.
"A lot of my AAU teammates are a part of this program and it's a winning culture here," said Harris, who experienced just seven wins during her two seasons at UMass.
"I'm ready to be a part of that and work as hard as I can to contribute in every way possible moving forward."
"Central Michigan is two hours from home and it's very much a winning culture. I'm ready to get a few (championship) rings on my fingers."
CMU coach Sue Guevara recruited Harris when she was at North Farmington.
"She's a big guard who can shoot the 3 and in our offense I think she's a perfect fit," said Guevara, who led the Chippewas to the MAC West championship last season and their fourth consecutive 20-win season. "She's athletic, and she's a really smart basketball player.
"She's going to bring some leadership because she's mature. She's very competitive and she's very composed and she has two years of experience playing Division I collegiate basketball. She brings some experience that obviously freshmen don't bring. She's been there, she wants to win, and she's going to do everything she can to help us win, to maintain what we have, and to take it to another level."
The Chippewas, who finished 20-12 and earned a berth in the Women's NIT last season, return Bradford, the reigning MAC Player of the Year, along with fellow starters Jas'Mine Bracey, Jessica Green and Kerby Tamm.
That quartet - all seniors who will be gone by the time Harris becomes eligible - combined to average more than 50 points per game last season.
"When it's her time to contribute to our program on the floor, I'm going to expect her to be one of our major scoring threats," Guevara said.