Rebecca Harris

Rebecca Harris Honored to Hold AU Pro Basketball Leadership Role

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2024 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Stephen Hunt
Mar 04, 2024

Rebecca Harris is among a handful of players to participate in Athletes Unlimited Pro Basketball each of its first three seasons, something she considers a badge of honor.

“This is certainly a high-level competition, but I look at it like coming to summer camp with your friends. The people that come through here, you look forward to seeing them and you look forward to catching up,” Harris said. “You look forward to getting to know them a little bit better.” 

Not only is Harris an AU veteran, but she’s also part of its leadership through her role on AU Pro Basketball Player Executive Committee (PEC). 

“I really look at it like a huge responsibility. I know how I felt, the things that I went through when I first entered this scenario as a player who has a different background than a majority of the players,” she said. “I see some things needed for everyone, for the different types of players.

“This is different than playing in other leagues where people just come and go. Here, you can get into it more seriously with one another, be vulnerable and open. That’s something I certainly look forward to. I honestly try and relay that message to the rookies or the young bucks — ‘Hey, really tap into this (opportunity) a little bit differently than you would anything else.’”

Sydney Colson is a fellow AU veteran who is playing for a third straight year and again serving on the PEC, which she chaired in 2022 and 2023. In fact, she and Harris are close friends, which led Harris to play this season for the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, which seeks medical breakthroughs for those with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a life-threatening autoimmune disease. 

“So, I chose this foundation because it’s more important to someone who’s important to me. This is the foundation that she (Colson) has represented for years due to her mother’s condition,” Harris said. “When choosing the foundation I wanted to represent this season, (I thought) it would be great to help her and this foundation out. Speaking to the people that run this organization, I couldn’t be more excited and prouder of my decision to help and represent them because they seem like some great and awesome people.”

Harris has won three championships in the Global Women’s Basketball Association (GWBA) along with a decade spent playing abroad in countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, and Turkey. 

Besides her impressive basketball resume, Harris also grew up in a military family, spending her formative years in the Philippines, Japan, and Germany before her family settled in Illinois for high school. Her experiences on and off the court have not only led her to become a successful motivational speaker, but also a published author as her book “How Bad Do You Want It?,” which answers all the questions fans had about her life in and out of basketball.

“People often ask me how was it (being in a military family) and would you rather (have grown up differently)? I’m like, ‘No, this is what has shaped me,’” Harris said. “From an early age, I learned how to be accepting of others. How could I not be accepting of others as a young, African American female growing up and living in Japan, the Philippines, or Germany and seeing other cultures?

“Kudos to my parents because we were also a family that took the time to explore, go off base, be engulfed in the countries we were in, to be appreciative of their land, way of living, food. That’s certainly helped me adapt to any situation (in) any place that I’ve ever been, helped me be successful in having an overseas career for such a long time. It’s certainly allowed me a greater respect of different cultures and adapting to the world around me.”

Another label she’s added in recent years is coach as Harris has done so at both the high school and collegiate levels, experiences she enjoyed on several levels. 

“I love giving back. I love showing people the way, teaching people everything I’ve ever learned from all the great coaches and mentors that I’ve ever had,” she said. “I take my opportunities when they’ve come and when it was a good time for me to just take a break from playing overseas. It’s been good. Will I get back into it? Where would I like to coach? What level would I like to coach? I’ve turned down a couple jobs over the years just because I still love playing, but yeah, it’s a possibility. I’ll probably get back into it at some point.”


Stephen Hunt is a freelance writer based in Frisco, Texas.

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