Photo by Ben Ennis for Henry Herald newspaper

Kamera Harris commits to Lady Vols

2016 post to sign next week, enroll this summer

Kamera Harris, a 2016 post from Georgia, has committed to the Lady Vols and will sign April 13, two days before her official visit to Tennessee.

The commitment of Kamera Harris, a 6-3 post from Dutchtown High School in Hampton, Georgia, is important for two reasons. The Lady Vols get much-needed depth in the paint, and it means Tennessee will definitely have a player in the Class of 2016.

Harris, who held offers from Oregon State, Massachusetts and the College of Charleston, among others, nearly inked a letter of intent last fall during the early signing period. But on the advice of her mother, Karen Bailey, and her brother, Jordan Harris, she opted to wait and make sure she was ready to make a decision.

Next week, they will travel as a family to Tennessee for the official visit in Knoxville. Harris is signing next Wednesday because she wants to get it done on the first day of the regular signing period. Harris, who is an outstanding student, will enroll this summer and be ready to play in the fall.

Harris notified InsideTennessee of the commitment via text message Thursday and then announced it on Twitter. She had verballed to the Lady Vol coaches last weekend but wanted to make sure the other schools that recruited her were notified first before she made the public announcement. Harris made those phone calls this week.

“I chose Tennessee because it felt right, simply” Harris said by text message while on spring break with her family.

Harris is familiar with Tennessee. She attended Lady Vols camp two years ago and won an award for her efforts. Harris and her mother made an unofficial visit in late February for the final regular season game, and she connected with the trio of players from Georgia – Diamond DeShields, Te’a Cooper and Andraya Carter.

It was Jordan Harris who spearheaded his sister’s recruitment. She played for a small high school and wasn’t getting any attention from colleges or evaluators. So the older brother sent video highlights and information to hundreds of schools, and piqued the interest of programs from the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12.

When Tennessee came calling, it was all but over.

“She wanted to stay in the South,” he said. “And Tennessee has been Kamera’s dream school for years. That was the place she wanted to go.”

Tennessee arrived late, but the Lady Vols made up ground quickly to say the least. Tennessee didn’t sign any players last November and cast a wide net this winter. The result was a 6-3 shot blocker with something to prove.

“She literally came from (a small program), and now she is going to Tennessee,” Jordan Harris said. “I am jumping out of the gym right now.”

Harris, who plays football for Morehouse College in Atlanta, will make the official visit trip to Knoxville with his sister and his girlfriend, January Miller, who just completed her basketball eligibility at Florida. Harris will be a senior next fall with one more season of football left. He is majoring in kinesiology and wants to be a women’s college basketball coach.

“That is my dream – to be a head coach before I am 40,” he said.

He certainly knows how to get the word out about a recruit, as his work changed the course of his sister’s basketball career.

“It’s just overwhelming,” he said. “I am just so happy.”

Kamera Harris is a shot blocker, defender and rebounder. As a sophomore, she set a national single-game record in 2014 with 28 blocks in a game. Brittney Griner set the previous record of 25 blocks as a senior at Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas, in 2008.

“Kamera is an expert when it comes to blocking shots,” her brother said.

Kamera Harris has size and will. While not a heralded recruit, the SEC has other players who fit that mold and go on to outstanding careers in college. She has stated her desire to work hard – and her brother said he had no doubt that she would do so. He described his sister as quiet but confident.

“When the time comes, she will step up,” he said. “She will bring a lot to the table.”

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