Basketball Star From Chelan Heads To NCAA Tournament - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Basketball Star From Chelan Heads To NCAA Tournament

Posted: Updated:
CHELAN, Wash. - If you've been following college basketball at all this year, you have heard about the University of Virginia's Joe Harris.

He and his team, under the direction of Coach Tony Bennett, formerly of Washington State University, received the #1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on Selection Sunday. And Harris, currently in his final year at UVA, was named ACC Tournament MVP on that same day.

But what you might not know about Joe Harris is that he is from Chelan, a small resort town in North-Central Washington.

"The town is small, and when we say small, it's really small," explained Joe's mom Alice. "We only have 4,000 people in the town, and we just got another stoplight so we have 2 now."

But however small it is, Chelan was where Joe's basketball dreams began. He wrote his goals on his bedroom walls as a kid, and today, many of those goals have been realized.

"You could see him, in his eyes..." explained Alice. "He'd go to gym, even as a little guy, he'd go be manager when he was 4, and he loved it [basketball]."

"That's the neat thing for us," explained Joe's dad and high school basketball coach, Joe Sr. "He really loves being on the court with his teammates and that's just one of the greatest things to see as a parent."

And although Joe plays for a team that is thousands of miles away from his home, his home town of Chelan is bursting with pride.

"After a game is over, if I put my phone away, there's probably 56 text messages," explained Alice. "People saying, 'we watched the game, tell Joe congrats!'"

What Chelan lacks in population size, it certainly makes up for in passion and heart.

"I think that's the beauty of a smaller town," explained Joe Sr. "They saw Joe grow up since the time he was playing in youth ball, tagging along with me as manager. The community has been so supportive, not only because he has given himself a name, but he has put our area on the map."

"I think a rural community is a slice of Americana, traditional values," explained Joe's former teacher, Mike Curry. "He's from a place where everybody knows everybody, everyone's involved for good or for bad, so there's all this involvement, everyone's bringing up the kids."

And Joe, who his family and friends described as "hard-working, genuine, and humble," is still very much in touch with his Washington state roots.

He still proudly roots for the Mariners and the Seahawks, but more specifically, he is still very connnected to his home in Chelan.

"It's been an unbelivable 4 years and it's been really cool to see people in the state of Washington become Wahoo fans," said Joe. "I'm in a good place in Charlottesville [Virginia], my home away from home, but I still miss Washington and Lake Chelan and am appreciative and thankful for all the fans I have in Washington."

From the East Coast to the West Coast, there is no shortage of Joe Harris fans.

Family friends Bill and Marci Nickell actually traveled to the East Coast to see some of Joe's final collegiate games.

"When he got MVP of the ACC Tournament, I shed a few tears," explained Bill. "Because he's special...I get a little emotional when I talk about him since I watched him from day one. I wish him all the best."

"Being a teacher, we get so involved with our students whether they fail or succeed," explained Curry. "But it's sure nice to see the by-product of sucess and be a part of it in a small way. So I'm proud of that, and I'm proud of him."

Joe's biggest fans, Alice and Joe Sr. are excited for what's to come for their son not only because he is a talented athlete, but because of the young man he has grown into.

"It's just surreal, it's really exciting and we're really proud of him for sticking with what he loved" beamed Alice.

"We've taught our kids that we're all given gifts," explained Alice. "With a gift like he's got, to be able to use that, and give back to other people, he can give a gift to another young man that has a dream, that looks at this, and says, 'he did it, I can do it too,' and I think that's what he's given us, and I thank him for that."

And based on the town of Chelan's outpouring of support for this homegrown star, they too appreciate his gift.

Joe Harris and the Cavaliers take on Coastal Carolina Friday night at 6:25pm. They are led by coach Tony Bennett, formerly of Washington State University.

More about Joe Harris and UVa basketball: http://www.theacc.com/#!/search?q=Joe%20Harris

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:33 PM EST2018-02-23 01:33:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>
  • Fatal apartment fire at Hartson and Perry on Spokane's lower south hill

    Fatal apartment fire at Hartson and Perry on Spokane's lower south hill

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:46 AM EST2018-02-23 13:46:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- One person is dead in a fatal fire at the Liberty Park Terrace Apartments on the lower South Hill. The fire was confined to one apartment. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The building was evacuated but everyone has returned back inside. No roads blocked at this time. BREAKING: Fatal Apartment Fire at Hartson and Perry>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- One person is dead in a fatal fire at the Liberty Park Terrace Apartments on the lower South Hill. The fire was confined to one apartment. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The building was evacuated but everyone has returned back inside. No roads blocked at this time. BREAKING: Fatal Apartment Fire at Hartson and Perry>>
  • Canadian women's hockey player apologizes for removing medal

    Canadian women's hockey player apologizes for removing medal

    Friday, February 23 2018 10:49 AM EST2018-02-23 15:49:37 GMT

    KHQ.COM - The Canadian women's hockey team wept on the ice as they accepted their silver medals after losing to the Americans at the Pyeongchang Olympics.   One Canadian player, Jocelyne Larocque, took her medal off immediately and held it in her hands as the Americans stood nearby awaiting their gold Thursday.   Larocque says, "It's just so hard."

    >>

    KHQ.COM - The Canadian women's hockey team wept on the ice as they accepted their silver medals after losing to the Americans at the Pyeongchang Olympics.   One Canadian player, Jocelyne Larocque, took her medal off immediately and held it in her hands as the Americans stood nearby awaiting their gold Thursday.   Larocque says, "It's just so hard."

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • A quest for adventure: Learning to fly at Spokane's only flight school

    A quest for adventure: Learning to fly at Spokane's only flight school

    Friday, February 23 2018 7:34 PM EST2018-02-24 00:34:01 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Northwest Flight School in Spokane has been working out of Felts Field since 2015. They have been the only flight school in Spokane since 2011. This year they are carrying a new title with them, Cirrus Training Center of the Year for North America. For years they have been training and teaching with the Cirrus Aircraft and this year their hard work has paid off with the award.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Northwest Flight School in Spokane has been working out of Felts Field since 2015. They have been the only flight school in Spokane since 2011. This year they are carrying a new title with them, Cirrus Training Center of the Year for North America. For years they have been training and teaching with the Cirrus Aircraft and this year their hard work has paid off with the award.

    >>
  • Basketball-sized wasp nest removed from Spokane veteran's walls

    Basketball-sized wasp nest removed from Spokane veteran's walls

    Friday, February 23 2018 7:25 PM EST2018-02-24 00:25:24 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two massive wasp's nests have been removed from a local veteran's walls after a "Help Me Hayley" report from January. "If I had to guess, I'd say he was dealing with between 6,000 to 10,000 wasps between the two nests," said Ray Vanderlouw with Pointe Pest Control. "They were side by side and each was about half the size as this sofa cushion." The removal comes after months of stress from Robert Storm. “I’ve met my 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two massive wasp's nests have been removed from a local veteran's walls after a "Help Me Hayley" report from January. "If I had to guess, I'd say he was dealing with between 6,000 to 10,000 wasps between the two nests," said Ray Vanderlouw with Pointe Pest Control. "They were side by side and each was about half the size as this sofa cushion." The removal comes after months of stress from Robert Storm. “I’ve met my 

    >>
  • Spokane Valley Firefighters battle stubborn attic fire in Greenacres

    Spokane Valley Firefighters battle stubborn attic fire in Greenacres

    Friday, February 23 2018 7:17 PM EST2018-02-24 00:17:16 GMT
    Spokane Valley Fire DepartmentSpokane Valley Fire Department
    Spokane Valley Fire DepartmentSpokane Valley Fire Department

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) and Spokane County Fire District 8 units responded to a reported garage fire in the 20000 block of East 8th Avenue shortly before 11:15 am on Friday. The first SVFD unit on the scene observed smoke coming from the attic of a detached two-car garage and upgraded the incident to a working fire, bringing more resources to the scene. Firefighters took an offensive approach, 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) and Spokane County Fire District 8 units responded to a reported garage fire in the 20000 block of East 8th Avenue shortly before 11:15 am on Friday. The first SVFD unit on the scene observed smoke coming from the attic of a detached two-car garage and upgraded the incident to a working fire, bringing more resources to the scene. Firefighters took an offensive approach, 

    >>