Athlete of the Issue: Jaiana Harris (Varsity Basketball Player & Rising Rapper)

Athlete of the Issue: Jaiana Harris (Varsity Basketball Player & Rising Rapper)

It has only been a few weeks since junior Jaiana Harris transferred to Tam from Redwood, and she is already having an effect on school culture. She is a captain of the girls varsity basketball team and a rising rap star.

“My mom wanted me to go to Tam freshman year, but I wanted a new start,” Harris said. After attending Redwood for more than two years she decided that it was time for a change. Before she transferred to Tam, Harris struggled academically at Redwood, and her mom suggested that she go to Tam. “I didn’t like the culture [at Redwood] and I didn’t feel like it was a place that I fit into,” Harris said. Many of the students she knows at Tam are friends and family members that went to elementary and middle school with her.

“I want to graduate with the people that I went to school with,” Harris said. Consequently, it hasn’t been very difficult for Harris to make the switch to Tam and so far, she has enjoyed the atmosphere. “It’s a little more relaxed here, teachers aren’t always on your back,” Harris said.

Along with her academics, one of the most important things in Harris’s life is basketball. “I didn’t play last year [at Redwood] because I tore my ACL so I had knee surgery,” Harris said, “Physically, it was a little bit hard for me to come back, but I had a college coach rehabbing with me so it wasn’t too bad.”

When she has been on the court she has had a big impact.

“I already got D1 college offers Kansas, Boise State, San Diego State, Wichita, Purdue, and Eastern Washington. Next year, after my travel season I’ll actually start looking and committing around December of next year,” she said.

Harris has watched other teammates go to Division I colleges to play for schools such as Kansas and Cal.  Most of the recognition Harris gets from Division I colleges is not through her high school basketball team, but through her travel basketball team.

Harris is not surprised that she is being recruited. “Not to be cocky or anything, but I knew my talent would get noticed,” she said.

However, Harris still wants to do her best to earn a championship for Tam.  “I think we’re going to win MCALs,” Harris said. Over the past 10 years the girls’ varsity team has yet to win 20 of their 30 games. However this year a 3-0 start is putting them on the right track to win a championship, and Harris believes she will play a key role in that.

“Last year, Tam was the better team, this year Tam is the better team. And me coming to Tam will hopefully make [Tam] a better team,” Harris said.

Culturally, Harris has been having an impact on Tam with her music. Her song “Count Up” and the “Count Up Remix” have become popular among students of both Redwood and Tam. The song about counting up money was a creation of Jaiana Harris and her cousin Dominic Bynum. “One day I was just at my cousin Dominic’s house and there was this beat, and we just started rapping to it,” Harris said. Since then the video, filmed in Sausalito and Marin City has recieved over 5,500 views. “We had a Count Up, and we had a Count Up remix and that’s what we did the video to.”

Jaiana Harris’ presence at Tam has been noticeable and positive. So far, Tam has had more positives than negatives for Harris and she hopes to continue at Tam. “Its just a little different. Here, I have family on the team. [At Redwood], I knew everybody.”

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