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Joe Harris Plays Final Home Game on Saturday - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Joe Harris Plays Final Home Game on Saturday

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Joe Harris: "The atmosphere should be great." Joe Harris: "The atmosphere should be great."

Akil Mitchell and senior-classmate Joe Harris will both play their final home game this Saturday.

Harris traveled all the way from the west coast to play at UVa, and has said the wild ride playing in the ACC was worth the journey.

He's a small-town kid from the state of Washington.

Joe Harris originally committed to play college ball at Washington State, but followed coach Tony Bennett when Bennett was hired at Virginia.

Head coach Tony Bennett says, "He took a leap of faith to come here.  The saying is 'You go away a boy, and come back a man,' and he was forced to be on his own and it wasn't easy.  It wasn't smooth sailing for our program early, but I think it really matured him."  

There have been up's and down's during his four years at Virginia, but Harris has had a solid career.

He currently ranks 27th on Virginia's all-time scoring list, and ranks 6th in career three-pointers.

Harris says, "I'm just extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to have gone to school at Virginia and get my education from here, met the people that I have, played for the coaches that I have, had the teammates that I've had. I'm just so happy and thankful that I've been able to go to school here."

Harris, who has dreams of playing in the NBA, has sacrificed his stats this season for the good of the team.

He's taking four fewer shots per game, and is averaging five fewer points.

Harris says, "I think in my mind I'm more concerned with winning.  It's much more important than anything I could see on a stat sheet.  No egos whatsoever.  This team is incredibly selfless. We don't have any guys that really care about who gets the credit.  We're focused on playing good, quality basketball."

The 'Hoos are having their best season in Harris' senior year, with a chance to win the ACC regular season title with a win on Saturday.  

"It would be huge, that's the reason we came here," says Harris.  "That's one of the main goals at the beginning of every season.  It's going to be a fun atmosphere.  Everyone, the fans, have been excited for this game for a while, so the atmosphere should be great, and we're looking forward to it."

Joe Harris and 12th-ranked Virginia will host #4 Syracuse Saturday at 4 PM.

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