Photo by Ben Ennis for Henry Herald newspaper

Kamera Harris officially joins Lady Vols

'Dream come true' for post from Georgia

Kamera Harris inked her paperwork at school Wednesday and officially became a Lady Vol. InsideTennessee talked to the 2016 post about her decision and enrollment plans.

The stage of Georgia has been very good to Tennessee to say the least. Kamera Harris, a 6-3 post from Hampton, joins Diamond DeShields, Te’a Cooper and Andraya Carter as products of the Peach State on the Lady Vols roster.

Harris made it official at Dutchtown High School by signing her scholarship forms and sending the paperwork to Knoxville.

“We’re very excited that Kamera has made the decision to become a Lady Vol,” head coach Holly Warlick said. “Kamera is a strong defensive player. That love for defense is what initially got me excited about the possibility of her joining our program. I like her energy and have enjoyed hearing about her love for the Lady Vols.

“We have signed an outstanding player who is going to help us, and we look forward to having her wear the orange.”

Harris provides much-needed depth in the post for the 2016-17 season. She will enroll in June after high school graduation so she can get a jump on strength and conditioning and court workouts with coaches.

Harris initially called her position coach, Dean Lockwood, on April 3 to say she was ready to commit and then talked to Warlick. Harris announced it four days later on Twitter and then made it official Wednesday.

Getting the opportunity to work with Lockwood was a factor in her decision.

“He is a great person, and that was a major factor,” Harris said.

When Warlick got on the phone, the coach told Harris, “I understand you have some great news for me.”

“I told her I wanted to go ahead and commit,” Harris said. “She was saying how happy she was.”

Another factor in Harris’ decision was distance. Hampton is located south of Atlanta, and her family can make the relatively short trips to Knoxville for games. Harris had seen the other extreme after official visits to Oregon State and Massachusetts.

“Being close to home is a great feeling,” Harris said. “My family can come see me play.”:

The family will make the trip this weekend for Harris’ official visit to Tennessee. Her family also was present for the official signing at Dutchtown High School.

“I was so excited,” Harris said. “It’s a dream come true for a little girl. I got really emotional during my speech, had a few tears.”

Harris could have signed last November as she held offers from other schools, but she delayed her decision until the regular signing period in April. That ultimately led Harris to becoming a Lady Vol. She was one of the best players remaining in the Class of 2016, and Tennessee needed post help.

“It’s great that I waited,” Harris said. “Everything happens for a reason. I am very content with my decision.”

Harris knows the hard part is ahead. The transition from high school to college is a steep one – and especially for a post player. Harris already has talked to Kortney Dunbar about what to expect at college workouts and how the challenges are not just physical but mental. Still, Harris knows she will have to experience it to fully understand.

“I don’t think you can ever be ready, but I think I will have a strong mentality,” Harris said.

Harris averaged 6.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.8 blocks per game as a senior in high school. Her style on the court is quiet but with constant effort.

“I feel like I am going there to play basketball,” Harris said. “I don’t want to waste this opportunity. I don’t think you can coach effort. If you are going to play basketball, then play hard.”

Harris, who plans to major in business management with a minor in communications – she is interested in public relations and talent management – originally had intended to take the official visit to Knoxville before committing. But this time when it came to her college decision, she opted not to wait.

“It’s a great place, and I knew that I didn’t want to the pass it up,” Harris said. “Throughout the process I don’t think there was any doubt in my mind.”

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