2009's Harris Pops For Local School

C.J. Harris, one of the top rising seniors in the state of North Carolina, is staying home. The Winston-Salem native won't venture too far from campus.

It's a done deal, C.J. Harris is Demon Deacon. The 6-foot-2 combo guard out of Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor committed to Wake Forest on Monday after considering Clemson and Virginia Tech.

"He wanted to go to school at home," Tabor coach Andy Muse said. "He's a good kid with good parents; they raised him the right way."

The rising senior was the lone junior on the N.C. A.P. all-state team. His high school team finished among the final eight teams in the state. Harris averaged 19.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 4.5 steals.

"He's a special person and a player," Muse said. "He's a high-character guy and he's grown through the process."

"I just think they've been on him more than anybody else, even though they didn't offer first," Muse said. "Coach Prosser started recruiting him when he was a sophomore along with Jeff Battle. He's formed a lot of good relationships in the last three years – the coaches, the players, he's got a good relationship with Ish Smith, L.D. Williams and James Johnson."

The connections to Wake Forest run deep. Muse's brother Mike is a member of Dino Gaudio's staff. Harris resides 4 miles from Wake's gym. Harris plays for an AAU team under the Chris Paul umbrella. However, the decision was tough for Harris.

"It was a three-way race. He was going to visit Michigan. He really liked John Beilein and the style of play. Then he decided he really wanted to play in the ACC and really liked all three schools.

"I think a pivotal point for him was when he went to Chris Paul's Elite Camp. That was pivotal because of the way he played and performed against other top guards in the southeast."

Harris has been cast in a number of ways in terms of position. He's done time at the point, played some at the two guard and basically has been a jack of all trades, stats stuffer for his high school and AAU teams. The same will be expected of him in college. No matter the setting, he's a kid who understands how to find the winner's circle.

"The thing that C.J. hangs his hat on is getting to the rim. He's unselfish and he's developed a long-range shot that he's still working on now. He's a winner. Whatever team he plays on wins. He's all about what's best for the team and how to win games."

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