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20 November 2006

Former Saks Hoops Star Harris Stylin’
in Ride of His Life at JSU

Keeping up with Jacksonville State forward Jeremy Harris isn’t hard to do these days. He only has the most recognizable vehicle on campus.

That blue 2002 Chevy Trailblazer you might have seen around town or in the player’s lot at Pete Mathews Coliseum, the one with all the cereal characters on it? Yep, that’s his.

With wheels like that, there’s no chance he will sneak up on anybody.

For those still stuck at the light, Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, the Corn Flakes rooster and Dig ‘Em the Frog adorn the sides of Harris’ sweet ride. He’s got “Kellogg’s All-Stars” across the hood, “Got Milk” on the rear window.

While Harris’ ride has been on the move, his playing career has been in the garage. In two regular-season games and an exhibition, the former state Class 4A Player of the Year has yet to see the floor.

He couldn’t participate in formal team activities last year because he had to work to meet academic standards. Now that he is eligible, he’s playing in a spot where the Gamecocks are their strongest.

You wouldn’t expect LaPlante to take minutes from Courtney Bradley, Brown or Harold Crow just to quicken Harris’ learning curve. They combined for 66 points and 25 rebounds Saturday in JSU’s 82-80 loss to Wofford.

The minutes Harris gets likely will come in games like tonight’s against NAIA Reinhardt (6-3) or when one of the Gamecocks’ frontcourt veterans face foul trouble, fatigue or injury.

“It’s not because of what he can’t do; it’s because these guys are older and ahead of him and, here, you’re gonna play your best players that are your veterans whenever you can,” LaPlante said. “He wants to get out there and play, because he wants to help the team win games, but he also understands these seniors and juniors are more seasoned and ahead of him.

Until that time, you’ll find Harris wherever his tricked-out Trailblazer is parked.

He has plans to unveil another car, but he’s not letting on about the design. All he’ll say is he’s getting the car in February, and it’ll be ready this summer.

“It’s a big secret,” he said. “It’s gonna be a surprise.”

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