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Chris Harris
Guard
Born August 11, 1933(1933-08-11)
Southampton
Nationality UK
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)
College University of Dayton
Pro career 1955–1956
Former teams St. Louis Hawks
Rochester Royals

Christopher R. Harris (born August 11, 1933 in Southampton, United Kingdom) is a retired basketball player. A 6'3" guard, he was the first player from England to compete in the American NBA.[1]

Harris's family moved from Southampton to Long Island when he was two years old. In a 2004 interview, he said, "My folks didn't even know what [basketball] was. I remember as a kid, I had a little basket in my back yard on dirt, but they kept telling me to play soccer. I replied, 'Nope, I'm going to play basketball in the pros.' They were laughing at me but after a while they knew it was going to be basketball for me."[1]

When Harris was eighteen, he received a basketball scholarship to the University of Dayton, where he became a teammate of Jim Paxson, Sr., father of future NBA players Jim and John. On March 1, 1953, Harris played every minute in Dayton's 71-65 victory over number-one ranked Seton Hall University, scoring the game's final point on a free throw. The loss was the first for Seton Hall in 28 games.[2] During his senior year, Dayton reached the National Invitation Tournament final, but lost to Duquesne University 70-58.[3]

After graduating from college, Harris spent one season in the National Basketball Association. He originally signed with the St. Louis Hawks, but after fifteen games they traded him and Dick Ricketts to the Rochester Royals for Jack Coleman and Jack McMahon.[4] In 41 total games with the Hawks and Royals, Harris averaged 2.5 points per game on 24.8% shooting[5] and made $4,800. He decided to end his NBA career after that season, since his wife was pregnant and he was planning a new business.[6]

Harris had a chance to return to the NBA the following summer, after joining a group of Dayton alumni in an informal game against the Hawks. Harris played well enough that Hawks coach Alex Hannum asked him to be his fourth guard, but Harris declined.[1] Harris later became vice-president of an insurance company and owned packaging and shipping stores in Florida.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Mark Woods. "My folks thought I was a basketcase to take up hoops". Sunday Mail. 11 January 2004. Sport, 21.
  2. ^ "Seton Hall's Streak Ends at 27". Chicago Tribune. 2 March 1953. C1.
  3. ^ Joseph M. Sheehan. "Duquesne downs Dayton 70-58 in Garden final". New York Times. 20 March 1955. S1.
  4. ^ Dan Caeser. "Former Hawks guard McMahon dies in sleep". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 12 June 1989. 1C.
  5. ^ Chris Harris Statistics at Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  6. ^ Gary Shelton. "Initials same but game surely isn't". St. Petersburg Times. 5 June 1992. 1C.
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