When you first meet Benton senior basketball star Brandy Harris, you'll notice a nice and quiet young lady but don't let her fool you. Brandy is competitor in every sense of the word and has made people take notice of Benton girl's basketball once again.
Basketball is in Brandy's blood. "I've been watching basketball, playing basketball, even video games, just watching it. It's always been something I did. Everything I did revolved around basketball."
Averaging just over 20 points per game, the Benton senior led the Lady Tigers to their first district title in 5 years.
"From the beginning of the season, we were like, ok they're talking about this team, this team, but they have not said anything about Benton. So were like we're going to make them see us, we're going to make them acknowledge Benton."
It's a confident statement from a young lady who struggled with confidence while growing up as the second of three children.
"Out of all the athletes I never thought that I would be one of the biggest or one of the best."
Twana Harris, Brandy’s mom, said, "I could see that she wasn't as confident as I was in her ability and I always had to tell her, you're good, you just have trust herself and play ball."
As her confidence grew on the basketball court, it helped Brandy tap into talent she never knew she had on the track.
She's now a stand out on two of Benton's relay teams and the long jump. Like many of our Athletes of Week, her foundation was laid in the church.
"My mom wanted to make sure everything we did in school, we counteracted with something we did in church so if you did two events at school, you would do two events at church. She just wanted to make sure that we were grounded and always involved with both."
Twana added, "When your child says, Mom, out of all the things in life I've never wanted for anything and out of all the things you've given me, you've given me Christ. I still choke up from that because that lets me know no matter how hard it got. It was worth this fight."
Now full of confidence, faith and fortitude Brandy is on the brink of accepting a collegiate scholarship to play basketball. Not bad for just a humble girl from Benton.
"Like freshman year, sophomore year, I was like well, maybe I do want to go and play. Actually about to reach that goal, it's really exciting. It's mind blowing."
As she accepted her Landers Athlete of the Week trophy, Brandy said, "Thank you. I would like to that my coaches and my mom and Ms. Melissa and my support system at Benton. I love you all, thank you."
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