Comeback trail leads Harrison to Tornado basketball program

By Rebecca Pierson
STAR Staff

   When most high school athletes are sidelined with an injury that requires
   surgery and months of rehabilitation, often times, they never make it back to their former athletic condition. Sometimes the end result is disappointed dreams of playing college ball.
   Kevin Harrison, a 2003 graduate of Hampton, has however managed to overcome his injury, and signed Wednesday morning to play basketball for King College.
   A former member of the basketball, baseball and football teams, Kevin tore the ACL in one of his knee during the fall of his senior year during football, and missed playing basketball the following season.
   "I hated it for him because he missed his senior year," said former Hampton head coach Jerry White. "He was a super kid. He might have started all three years.
   "I think King is going to be pretty pleased with him," he said. "He is a good worker and he likes to play -- a good ball handler, a good shooter, anything you would want in a point guard."
   Kevin said he was both determined and lucky to overcome his injury, miss an entire season and then go on to play in college. He averaged 13 points, six assists and five rebounds over his three years at Hampton. He has spent this past year playing in church league basketball, strengthening his knee and playing baseball.
   "I had the surgery and went through physical therapy, ran a bit and worked out, and I got my knee strong again," Kevin said. "I really wanted to play, and to get the opportunity to do this is good."
   Kevin said he was attracted to King because it was close to home and he was impressed with the college itself.
   "It is a great opportunity," he said.
   He is the son of Carl and Cheryl Harrison, and also has a younger brother Ben.
   "I have been trying to keep him busy," his father said about his son's recovery.
   His mother Cheryl said, "As long as he goes to school and gets an education -- that is the important thing."
   King's junior varsity coach Steven Hardin, who is also an assistant varsity coach, said he had learned about Kevin through his father, Elizabethton head coach Tony Hardin.
   "When I heard that they were interested in coming to King, I knew that it would be a steal for me to get him," Steven said. "The way we are going to put him on the junior varsity first, it gives him a chance to get that stuff back before moving up to the varsity and start playing.
   "We felt like it would be a win-win situation either way. We do so much stuff in the summer too, he will be ready to roll by the time the season starts.
   "We made it to the national tournament last year. So, we are moving along the right track at King, adding a little bit and pushing our junior varsity to move up to varsity. We are looking for a point or a No. 2 guard. I think he will definitely be able to step up into that role."
   Kevin said he is interested in an earning an Education degree. He said he would like to coach one day.