MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – By the time WVU forward Josiah Harris wraps up his time at WVU, he might have three degrees, and he isn’t closing the door on a fourth one either.
The first will be collected in December when Harris finally walks the stage after earning his bachelor’s degree in communication this summer. Next year, he expects to wrap up his master’s degree in executive sport management. After that, an MBA could be in the works.
All would come before his final year of eligibility on the court.
“It’s honestly just a testament to my parents because they just put me in the right classes, and I just take the classes, get it done and just do my work,” Harris said. “I don’t think of it [as] nothing crazy. I honestly think it’s a blessing, just putting me in that situation.”
As a teenager in Canton, Ohio, he took College Credit Plus dual enrollment classes at Lakeland Community College while playing basketball for Richmond Heights, the local high school, as far back as his sophomore year.
“A lot of my friends were older, and it just made me grow up a little bit faster,” he said.
Eventually, West Virginia came calling. He soon learned, as he suspected, that his credits would be transferrable.
“I can’t remember the exact amount,” he said. “But it was a lot.”
For Harris, the picture has always been bigger than basketball, and he wants to set an example for those younger than him by taking care of business in the classroom.
“Seeing my siblings growing up, I wanted to be not just a great role model for them on the basketball court, but off the court as well,” he said. “And just showing them that it’s bigger than sports, and you can be good with your education as well, and just be the best on and off the court.”
His parents set him up to succeed. He wanted to be a good role model for his siblings. As much as he wanted to excel academically for his immediate family, he wanted to show his 93-year-old great grandmother that he achieved his goal of graduating early.
“She said before she passes away, she wants to see me graduate, and I feel like that’s an amazing thing that I get to accomplish, and see her face when I’m walking on the stage,” he said.
In the meantime, he is deciding to buy into interim head coach Josh Eilert’s schemes and philosophies instead of hitting the transfer portal over the summer. After all, it’s easier to keep credit hours in line by staying at one school.
“I believe in Josh’s plan,” he said. “I feel like he’s a great guy, a great coach, and he’s going to be able to let us rock this year and win some games. I believe in him.”