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Harris to continue athletic, academic career in Ireland

A 2014 graduate from Elon and a standout on the women's basketball team, Kelsey Harris will continue her studies and her on-court activities through a unique opportunity in Ireland.

Kelsey Harris led the Elon women's basketball team in scoring this past season.

Former Elon women’s basketball standout Kelsey Harris ’14 has been selected as one of 13 recent student-athlete graduates from 13 different colleges and universities across the country to take part in the Sport Changes Life Foundation as a 2014-15 Victory Scholar.

The foundation allows student-athletes to continue their athletic and academic careers by both playing on a collegiate team and studying in a graduate program at an Irish or Northern Irish university. In addition to their academic and athletic endeavors, Harris will be working with youth in community programs.

As part of the 10-month program, the Gastonia, N.C., native will earn her master’s in international management and global business at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland, while also playing for both the university and a premier semi-professional team. She will also be working in the community to share sports with the local Irish people.

“I wanted to get a master’s in some type of business management program,” said Harris. “After double majoring in sport and event management and psychology, I thought getting a graduate degree in business would be beneficial in whatever I pursue next. I also thought adding the international aspect would be such a great bonus.”

Harris found out about the program by researching different opportunities overseas. After an application and interview process, she was selected, along with 12 others, out of many applicants to join the upcoming year’s program. The 13 scholars will be based throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland at five different universities.

“I expect to have a great cultural experience in stepping out of my comfort zone and adapting to a new environment,” explained Harris. “I’ve been in North Carolina my entire life, [and] with the exception of our basketball trip to Europe three years ago, I haven’t been able to travel and live outside the country. Traveling is always something I’ve wanted to do. I’m really excited about being in a new place. I think it will challenge me socially, culturally, athletically and academically.”

This past season at Elon, Harris led the team and ranked 13th in the Southern Conference in scoring, averaging 12.2 points and playing 35 minutes per game. While reaching the 1,000-career point milestone as a senior, she was also an All-SoCon Team selection by both the coaches and the media and was named to the All-SoCon Tournament Team. An academic all-conference team honoree, Harris represented the team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, volunteered at the Positive Attitudes Youth Center and was a mentor in the athletic academic support office.

Philip Jones,
7/15/2014 5:05 PM