Athlete’s Voice: Basketball Coach Harris Cultivates a Winning Culture at Lewis


Courtesy of Marsha Taylor

The greatest challenge Lewis’ Boy’s Basketball team (pictured with the coaching staff and managers) faced this season was growing a winning mindset.

Marcus Taylor, Guest Writer

A problem with John R Lewis High School would be the culture that its athletics have. The culture at Lewis isn’t a winning culture, and the school is mostly known for athletic losses. During my time at Lewis, the culture surrounding boys’ basketball was the way it was because of the lack of dedication and commitment that each athlete has. However, Lewis Boys’ Basketball Coach Kevin Harris is determined to change Lewis’ athletic culture for the better.

Coach Harris is a coach who believes that dedication and commitment are the keys to a successful basketball team. He always said that someone’s dedication signifies their commitment to achieving objectives and life goals. 

When Coach Harris arrived in the 21-22 season, the varsity team had only won three games in the previous season. Harris wanted to change that.

Coach Harris helped the Lancers by pushing each player to the limit for the best results. This was important because he wanted everything done at game speed so when the game comes it would be easier to translate drills and scrimmages. 

This was beneficial because at the end of the 21-22 season, the team finished 7-15, which isn’t the best record but an improvement from previous years. However, as we began the winter season, team morale dropped significantly as many players quit the team.

Coach Harris’s system was a real change from previous coaching and resulted in a drop in the roster as players got discouraged and quit. 

Yet among those who remained, patience and hard work were key to success. 

Senior Tyler Wright was a transfer point guard from Thomas Edison High school who didn’t get much burn in the 21-22 season but was hoping for better the next season. “Coach Harris taught me how to become a better point guard and to be able to be a leader on the team,” Wright said.. 

Wright was the star point guard for the Lancers who stayed hungry no matter what and worked hard. This led Wright to a starting spot on the team. 

Senior Ali Mahdi (power forward) was new to basketball, and at the beginning of the season, he wasn’t getting much playing time. Coach Harris pushed him to play his role as point guard and he got moved up to the starting spot along with sophomore Logan Balatbat and senior Cameron Taylor.

Mahdi believes that he has grown and improved as an athlete under Harris’ coaching. “Coach Harris has taught me to work for what and where I want to be,” Mahdi said.

Working towards where you want to be goes far beyond basketball. The collective team accomplishments we had under coach Harris weren’t just winning, but he was responsible for the team’s character development as well. Coach Harris has not only helped the team develop as basketball players but also as young men.