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My Signature: Tyasha Harris Looks Forward and Looks Back Prior to WNBA Draft
Women's Basketball  . 

My Signature: Tyasha Harris Looks Forward and Looks Back Prior to WNBA Draft

Tyasha Harris’ career at South Carolina was bookended by winning a national championship as a freshman starting point guard in 2017 and another SEC regular-season and tournament title as a senior in 2020 with a final No. 1 national ranking. With numerous honors along the way, including First-Team All-SEC and All-America honors as a senior, the recipient of the 2020 Dawn Staley Award for the nation’s top guard is looking forward to hearing her named called at the 2020 WNBA draft on April 17.

I’ve been playing basketball since I was four. At first, it was a fun little thing to do. It got serious after playing in our church league and then when I was playing with the boys in the YMCA league. Finally, we had an official (travel) team where I lived. That was in the fourth grade. That’s when I first thought about playing pro ball.

Now, I’m right there, ready to get there.

I’m looking forward to seeing what team I’m going to play for, obviously, but also seeing what teams all of my friends are placed on. It’s funny because I’ve played against some of them my whole life and seeing everything that we’ve done and to see it all pay off, finally, is going to be great.

The draft is being done remotely this year, so I’ll be home with my family for it. I got a call telling me that I’d be doing a live remote with ESPN, so I’ll be one of the people that gets to be seen.

Just the thought that I’ll be competing with the people I’ve looked up to and followed all my years of playing basketball is the first thing that excites me about a future in the WNBA, and the second thing is accomplishing my lifelong dream.

Everything is a reoccurring cycle from high school to college and from college to the pros. I believe my biggest adjustment to playing professionally will have to be speed, probably physicality and just asserting myself. You try to fit in with the speed and how strong the players are. I have to show my will as being a leader and get them to believe in me.
Tyasha Harris vs. UConn, 2/10/20
The adjustments I’ve made and what I’ve learned in my college career will help me. Teams tell me what I’m good at, and they say it’s good for the pros. I think what I’ve learned from Coach (Dawn) Staley and my teammates has helped me tremendously; my mental stamina, my mental ability, my IQ for the game, and just learning different things have helped me get ready.

I’ve watched some of the old replays of our games on TV recently, and when I watch myself as freshman, I looked super-young! My hair was short, too. I feel like I was slower. I can tell my game has matured since then. I see how my game has evolved and how people have to guard me differently year to year.

Watching those games, I would tell my freshman self to be more assertive and have more confidence in yourself. Confidence goes a long way.

When I look back at my time at South Carolina, there are a lot of memories. It’s hard to pick and choose my favorite. Obviously winning the national championship my freshman year and the parade following that is one of my favorites. I feel like every year I had a different team. Just going through that and making life-long sisters and family each year, and then being No. 1 overall at the end of this year was great. Beating UConn for the first time was great, too.

Off the court, what I’ll remember and miss most, I think, is not being with everyone every day, every second. In the pros, you’re more of an individual. College is a lot of schedules. You’re with the team, and you’re always around each other. I’ll miss that the most, being around my teammates.

Thinking about my time here and what we accomplished, I’d like to be remembered as a person that was true and loyal to the team, a great leader, a person that my teammates could confide in, a great on- and off-the-floor person with a goofy personality, a loving person, a person who loved basketball and a person who would do anything for the team.

Leaving a legacy is the biggest thing.

Ty Harris Signature