When Bryce Harris was in middle school, his dad tried hard to convince him to play basketball. The younger Harris gave him the same answer every time: That basketball was for people who can’t play football.
Then Harris hit his growth spurt and realized that being a tall running back wasn’t good for the legs. So by the time sophomore year rolled around, Mr. Harris got his wish.
And while that decision seems to have been the right one, Harris still carries that football mindset onto the basketball court.
“I think the big that people see in me is my physique,” said Harris, a 6-foot, 6-inch, 220-pound sculpted shooting guard who will do a postgrad season at Putnam Science Academy in the fall, “and then how hard I play with it.
“The hard work came from football to be honest. I played since I was 5 years old and stopped in ninth or 10th grade. When I started playing basketball, I just took this approach that I’m going to work harder than all these guys just because I used to play football.”
And while he says he was a better football player at the time he gave it up, Bryce Harris the basketball player is doing pretty well for himself. From Brentwood, N.Y., on Long Island, Harris played last season at Greensboro Day School in North Carolina. He is ranked as the seventh best player in the state of New York, fourth in North Carolina. He holds a handful of scholarships offers, including from Wake Forest, UNC Wilmington, and East Tennessee State.
“We think Bryce is going to fit in really well with us,” said PSA coach Tom Espinosa. “You definitely notice his size right away, and how that can help him almost dominate at times. But he’s an unselfish player too, and I think his passing ability is overlooked. We’re excited to see how we can help Bryce continue to grow and develop his game.”
Harris, who prides himself on being polite — “People wouldn’t really expect something like that from someone from New York,” he said — is looking forward to that as well. He said he got a lot better in his year at Greensboro, and that facing great competition every day at PSA, as well as learning from top coaches, is only going to enhance that. He gets a rush out of making improvements in his game.
“My favorite thing about the sport is the breakthroughs,” he said. “When you feel like you’re stuck in terms of your development, but something happens that shows you that you have so much more to go. It’s competing with yourself. You hit what you think is your own personal peak but then you reach that breakthrough and it’s like, ‘Oh I didn’t know I could improve to this level, I thought I was done with this.’ I love that feeling.
“I don’t remember feeling that way about football, but I may have. But I know that is something I really love about basketball. I’m happy with my choice to play. I am glad I listened to my dad.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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