Winston-Salem State has landed another one-and-done basketball player.
This time it’s Rayvon Harris, a graduate of Niagara who will use his final season of eligibility at WSSU.
Harris, a 6-5, 215-pound wing, is originally from Raleigh and he graduated last month from Niagara with a sports management degree. He follows Keith Armstrong who committed to WSSU earlier this week and is coming from East Carolina where he’s expected to graduate later this month.
Armstrong and Harris will each have one year of college eligibility left and will give the Rams plenty of experience this season.
Coach James Wilhelmi of the Rams can’t comment on players who haven’t signed the binding national letter of intent because of NCAA rules.
Harris said that the big reason he has decided to play his final season at WSSU was because of Wilhelmi.
“Coach just presented me with an opportunity of a winning program and he wanted me to help contribute,” Harris said. “I just thought it was a good fit for me at the (Division II) level and I’m looking forward to it.”
Another factor that helped Harris decide was that he knows Armstrong really well. Armstrong is also from the Raleigh area.
“Keith and I kept in contact and we were talking about it and once he decided to go to Winston it helped me decide,” Harris said. “I think we will both bring that chemistry there and we have experience.”
Harris said that there were other schools recruiting him such as Charlotte, North Texas and Charleston Southern. But he said that with WSSU losing four senior starters from last season there should be plenty of playing time available.
“I know I have to earn my time on the floor but I plan on doing that,” Harris said.
This past season for Niagara Harris averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds as he started 15 games. He shot 55 percent from the field and he shot 42 percent on 3-pointers.
His best game was when he scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in 19 minutes in a win over Siena in early December. He also scored 14 points in a game against Iona later in the season.
Before playing two seasons at Niagara Harris played one season at Rhode Island.
He played his final season of high-school basketball at Flora MacDonald Academy in Red Springs where he averaged 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals a game. Before Flora MacDonald Academy Harris played two seasons at Raleigh Sanderson High School.
Harris has been on campus at WSSU but has never seen a game at the Gaines Center.
“It’s a beautiful campus and I’ve heard about how the crowds get when they play home games,” Harris said. “I can’t wait.”
Harris is the eighth player to commit to this year’s team. Six of those players - T.J. Wilson, Jamel McAllister, Rob Brown, Will Crandell, Jonathan Warren and Will Walker – have signed their national letters of intent. All of them have qualified academically to play except for Brown, who could be redshirted.
The Rams went 18-11 in Wilhelmi’s first season as a head coach and lost in the CIAA championship game to Livingstone. The Rams have been to the CIAA title game in three of the last five seasons.
“That winning tradition is something Coach talked a lot about,” Harris said. “We want to keep that going.”