Illustration by Dina Arakcheyeva/The Pioneer
The California State East Bay women’s basketball team is on a four-game winning streak, largely due to senior guard Shomari Harris.
Harris, a five-foot-five-inch Las Vegas native who transferred to East Bay this year from Texas A&M-Commerce has added nothing but improvement to East Bay’s program this season.
“Transferring to East Bay for my last collegiate career has worked out for me in so many ways and it was honestly the best thing I could have done,” Harris told the Pioneer. “This program accepts me and I enjoy giving my all to people who need and appreciate it. I have been feeling really relaxed and confident in our games.”
That relaxation and confidence shows in her game. Harris plays over 30 minutes each game and has 16 games in double figures this season. She scored 20 points or more in nine of those games. The team has played 19 games so far.
On the week of January 16-22, Harris was selected as the California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, the first player to earn this title for the team this season.
During that weekend, the team faced California State Los Angeles, California State Dominguez Hills and earned two wins. Harris averaged 29.5 points, 7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and completed 18 of 22 free throws. Against LA she scored 29 points, 17 of those in the fourth quarter alone and against Dominguez she scored a career high of 30 points with 6 assists.
“My mindset is always do what is necessary for the team,” Harris said. “If that means talking, leading or scoring I will do it. I will do anything that will lead us to a victory. My coach tells me to be a leader. It sounds cliche, but that is my job and I take that seriously. I have to lead the team every night, because they look up to me, they believe in me and that lights up a fire in me even more.”
This past weekend against Cal Poly Pomona, Harris scored 26 points and went 7-for-8 from behind the three-point line with 4 assists, in team’s fourth win in a row.
Harris’ play led her to become not only the CCAA’s leading scorer (17.2 ppg), but she also helped the Pioneers work their way up to second place in the CCAA standings, behind just the UC San Diego Tritons.
“I feel great about my play, our win streak and everything, but this is honestly a humbling experience for us,” she said. “It took a while to get to the point of being able to be consistent and play East Bay basketball, so we cannot get ahead of ourselves, we have to stay focused. We are not satisfied.”