Harrison plans to use experience to lead Cards

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hayley Harrison has been a product of basketball her entire life.

She has never played another sport and knew her destiny was with basketball since she was in elementary school.

She is committed to the University of Tennessee at Martin where she will continue her basketball and educational careers.

Harrison said she stuck to basketball because of the competitive nature it offers.

“My dad played football and mom played basketball,” she said. “We have always been a very active family. My brother got into it so we kind of both got into at it the same time. So maybe it is just the competitiveness I have always had with my brother.”

Harrison said an old friend of hers when she was younger planted a seed in her mind and has influenced her to always give her best.

“This girl named Emma Young was a big impact on my life,” she said. “She pushed me every day in practice even though I was an underclassman. She kept me under her wing and I always appreciated that. She was always going hard and pushing me to that next level and I always think about that. Of course I never want to let my parents down either. They have been great role models.”

Harrison has been a key contributor for the team and said her team has always understood that basketball means business.

“We have a time when we are joking around and we have a time when we are serious,” she said. “When we step on the court during district, region or state, we know we are here to play and do not want to go home yet. That has played a big part of it. We always knows what it means to be focused. We all stay pretty linked.”

With the last two state tournament losses to Mercer County, Harrison said leadership will be a major component to take GRC back to the promise land.

“There are four of us that are seniors,” she said. “Winning the last one is our biggest motivation. Being able to say that we have been there is not enough for me.”

Harrison said she will need to work on certain aspects of her game to help her team be successful.

“I know I lack on my rebounding,” she said. “I would like to rebound a lot more and be more aggressive towards the basket. I can always do better on defense and that is the biggest part of basketball.”

Harrison feels like she has a lot of work to do to prepare her game for the college level at UTM next year.

“This is the start of my senior year and they will always be faster than me until I get there,” she said. “I will be working my way to prepare myself for that transition because it is a different level of basketball. For now, I am focused on winning this season and the rest will come with time.”