Former Hickman guard hosts camp in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Former Hickman High School player Lance Harris is hosting a week-long basketball camp in Columbia for kids of all ages.

Starting on Monday, July 14 and lasting until Friday, July 18, Harris as well as other camp counselors are running a Nike and US Sports sponsored camp at Battle High School.

"I was fortunate enough to have Nike and US Sports sponsor this camp. It's a good feeling to be able to help the kids here and explain and show these kids the fundamentals of basketball and be able to help them to develop their games better," Harris said.

Born and raised in Columbia, Harris played three years as shooting guard on the Hickman High School varsity team in which he holds the most points scored. His sophomore and senior year, he helped his team win districts.

In high school, Harris was in the top 100 in the country and was selected to go to the All-American Nike Camp where he played alongside players like Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh.

His hard work and success in high school paid off and many colleges took notice. 

"I had a lot of offers, I can't even remember all of them. Saint Louis University, Nebraska, Creighton, Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State just to name a few," Harris said. 

Harris decided to take his talent to Kansas State where he played under head coaches Jim Wooldridge and Bob Huggins. In his four years at Kansas State, Harris played in 119 games and averaged 8.6 points per game and had an average 42.5 field goal percentage. Upon completing college in 2007, he entered the NBA draft.

"I'd been playing all my life. Eat, sleep, drink basketball, so to play professionally was a dream of mine as a kid," Harris said.

Unfortunately, Harris went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft but wasn't done yet. He packed up his belongings and headed to Europe where he has played ever since. 

"I've played seven years in Europe now, headed into my 8th season in August. I've played in many countries such as Greece for three years, Bosnia, Ukraine, Italy for two years and last season I played in Russia," Harris said. 

At first living in Europe was a big cutural shock said Harris with different food, different languages and different styles of basketball but after being there for so long he has grown accustomed to it, even calling himself somewhat of a veteran.

He got the opportunity to return to his hometown to host a camp after couseling for a Nike camp in Saint Louis. 

"I've been wanting to do a camp here in Columbia. Seeing my family and friends and their kids come to camp and just being able to come back to where I'm from and see these kids have smile on their faces when they come here to work and get excited about the counselors that I have and myself as well is the best," Harris said. 

Harris is currently a free agent and is looking forward to signing a contract for somewhere in Europe in the next few months then moving back out there.

Harris said he is content with his life and career in Europe but wouldn't mind returning to the states one day.

"I don't mind being in Europe so I think where I'm at is fine right now with me. I just want to finish my career in Europe, come back to the states and be able to help kids like I am today," Harris said.