When most families are hanging stockings, tobogganing, or downing eggnog, the Harrisons are shooting threes.
Every Christmas Break senior shooting guard Chelsea Harrison and her older brothers, Dan and Bill, walk up the hill behind their house to a local school’s gymnasium for their annual 3‑point shoot-out.
“It’s a huge deal, ” Chelsea said.
Harrison loves competition. Growing up with athletic older brothers will do that to a person.
Who usually wins?
“Me,” she said
Understandable. When it comes to pulling up from long range, Harrison is good. Two hundred-sixty times she’s knocked down a three for the Chargers. That’s 27 more than any other Hillsdale player in history
Shooting threes isn’t the only part of Harrison’s game, however. She drives, passes, and plays defense. She’s fourth in the conference in points per game with 16.2, fifth in assists with 3.8, and grabs 4.2 rebounds per game. Amazingly she does it all without rest. Literally. She leads the conference in minutes played — 38 minutes per game.
But at the end of the day, it’s all about winning the GLIAC championship.
“She’s a warrior,” head coach Claudette Charney said. “She’s someone who leads, she pushes the team, she’s competitive in practice. She’s earned her way since the day she walked on campus.”
Harrison, who captained her high school basketball and soccer teams in Lowell, Mich., knew all along she wanted to play college basketball. After a visit to Hillsdale College she fell in love with the program, despite how hard she would have to work for playing time.
“I knew they were an awesome team,” Harrison said. “I knew I wasn’t going to start. I wanted to come off the bench and be a spark.”
Although she didn’t start her freshman year, she contributed immensely, and the team won the conference championship. Harrison also benefited from playing with All-American Katie Cezat ‘09.
“My job as a freshman was to get her the ball,” Harrison said.
When Harrison wasn’t dumping the ball into the post for Cezat, she was learning from Cezat’s work ethic.
“She taught me hard work really does pay off,” Harrison said. “If she wasn’t in the gym, she’d be downstairs working out. To be a good college basketball player, you really need to work.”
Three years later, the roles have reversed. Harrison is the seasoned veteran and her younger teammates look up to her.
“She pushes us hard,” junior point guard Leah Jones said. “Playing with her, I’ve become a better player.”
With the regular season now over, and the team’s first playoff game against Michigan Tech University next Wednesday, you can bet Harrison will be pushing hard.
“We need to play every game like it’s our last,” Harrison said. “We need to have swag.”