Jacob Harris, senior at Hill City High School, works hard on the court and in his studies. He has been playing basketball since third grade. He has gone to Hill City since the second grade.
Basketball is the sport he excels in and the only one he has been involved in through high school. He has been a starter on the Varsity team for the past three years.
Blake Gardner, head boys basketball coach, said even since he was in elementary school Harris wanted to be in the gym.
“He’s a very smart player and is like a coach on the floor,” Gardner said.
Harris is a student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology too. He juggles what he needs to get done at Hill City to graduate with more advanced courses that will help him in the future. After he graduates he plans to continue going to School of Mines and pursue a degree. He is thinking of majoring in Applied Mathematics. He’s not completely sure what he wants to become in the future.
Right now he spends two hours a day, four days a week at School of Mines. Something he said “is not too bad.” He has had to commit a lot time to doing work outside of the classroom with homework and study groups too.
Last semester he took six credit hours and this semester he has seven at the School of Mines. He has already taken classes like physics and differential equations. This semester he is taking psychology and Calculus III.
When he graduates from high school he will already have 25 college credits.
Harris said the experience at the School of Mines has been different from high school.
“I like it a lot more. There’s a lot more freedom,” Harris said. “You have to rely on yourself a lot more. But, it’s fun. It’s challenging.”
He is also on the Knowledge Bowl team. Rick Hamilton, Knowledge Bowl Coach, said Harris has been a member of the team for three years and has increased in confidence, leading to greater levels of contribution.
“His knowledge of current events has really helped the team in the recent years,” Hamilton said.
This past year the Knowledge Bowl team did well. They consistently placed in the top top three at each meet. The team placed third in the Region Meet.
Harris said that the Varsity team has played below their potential this season.
“Right now it’s about getting ready for playoffs,” Harris said.
The team has been motivated to make a state championship run for the past three weeks. In January there were a couple of tough losses but the team has recently hit their stride, winning two games last week.
They beat out Newell 70-36 and Rapid City Christian 61-32.
Harris is a point guard on the team. He plays to win and puts up points at crucial moments in the game. Being able to find open players is important to Harris too. He was the two guard during his sophomore year. Last year he started at point guard that transferred into this year too.
Gardner said that as point guard he makes sure everything is in order and really runs the team.
Harris’ motivation to do well in basketball is to help his teammates. He also like to “do the best for my coaches.”
He said his focus is to give his teammates open shots and assist anyway that he can defensively too.
“I look to be a good leader,” Harris said.
In school his motivation is to make his parents proud.
Todd Satter, principal of Hill City High School, said that Harris is the top student in his class.
Bryon Christian, English teacher at Hill City High School, said that Harris is an incredibly bright and intuitive student.
Right now, Harris is in Christian’s AP Literature class. Christian has had Harris in a class for three years.
“Class wouldn’t be the same without him,” Christian said.
See Harris and the rest of the boy’s basketball team take on Douglas High School in the last home game of the regular season on Feb. 8. Tip-off will be around 7 p.m.