He started out as a mystery; a player from Germany that Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd seemed to pull out of nowhere. No recruiting sites had any information on him. The Gonzaga faithful were not sure what to expect from Harris, but little did they know, that Harris would be one of the most productive players in the history of the Gonzaga basketball program. Here is a look back at the career of Gonzaga forward Elias Harris.
As alluded to before, Harris’s basketball career before Gonzaga was a bit of a unknown. He graduated from Friedrich-Magnus-Schwerd-Gymnasium in Speyer, Germany while playing in the Germany Pro B third division. He played in the European championships for team Germany in 2009, and averaged 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Harris transitioned very smoothly to the college game in his first year at Gonzaga. He showed his work horse mentality from the get go as a freshman, and continued to play with the same intensity throughout the whole year. He scored 508 points in his first season at Gonzaga, which is the most by a freshman in the history of the program. He started every single game as a freshman and averaged 14.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He was named to the WCC Newcomer of the Year, and was also first team all-WCC and first team NABC all-district. In a game at Saint Mary’s, Harris put up 31 points and corralled 13 rebounds in a 89-82 victory over the Gaels.
In the summer before the 2010-2011 season, Harris competed for team Germany in the 2010 FIBA world championships. The Germans went 2-3 and Harris averaged 3.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Coming into the NCAA season, Harris was fighting a shoulder injury, and was not 100% for the start of the season. He also fought through an achilles injury as well. Even though Harris was banged up for most of the season, he was still able to produce for the Zags. He averaged 12.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in his second season as a Bulldog. He was an honorable mention for the all-WCC team.
After an injury riddled sophomore season, Harris turned into one of the best rebounders in the country in his third season in Spokane. He averaged 13.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while also blcoking 0.8 shots per game as well. He nailed a deep three-pointer with only 2 seconds left to take the Saint Mary’s Gaels to overtime in the WCC championship game. That is most likely the signature shot of Harris’s career, and will most certainly appear on all of his collegiate highlight tapes. Harris put up monster numbers against BYU at the McCarthey Athletic Center, where he put up 19 points and an astonishing 16 rebounds in an 11 point victory over the Cougars. He was named to the all-WCC team, as well as the all-WCC tournament team.
In his last season wearing a Gonzaga uniform, Harris helped lead the Bulldogs to one of the best season the program has ever seen. The Zags went 32-3 and were ranked number one in the country for the first time in school history. Harris was a large part of all this success. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game in his senior season. He once again was named to the all-WCC team, as well as the all-WCC Tournament team and the NABC first team all-district.
In the Record Books
Harris finds himself in very good company in the Gonzaga record books. He ranks 4th on the all-time career scoring list with 1,857 points, 2nd in all-time career rebounding with 957, 4th in all-time career field goals made with 666, 4th in all-time career free throws made with 447, and 9th in all-time career steals with 123. Harris played in 135 games for the Zags, and started 134 of them.
The Gonzaga program is losing a player that will give a consistent effort night in and night out while producing at a high level. Harris leaves the program as one of the most productive players the university has ever layed eyes on. A professional career, whether it is in the NBA or overseas, is certainly imminent for Elias Harris.