Q & A: Brittany Harris, OSU gymnastics
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 01:02
Q: Your dad [Steve Harris] played in the NBA for five years [1985-90]; what was it like having a pro athlete as your father?
A: At first, I just saw him as my dad. So I was like, ‘Dad, you’re not that cool. All you do is sleep.’ But when we’d go to [University of Tulsa] basketball games, he graduated there, everyone just flocked to him. But I didn’t realize how big, or how cool it was to have a dad in the NBA.
Q: Did he inspire you to pursue athletics?
A: Yeah. I just have an athletic family, me and my brother [a high school basketball player] both. I would vault over my dad while he was sleeping, and he would just wake up and freak out because I’d just fly over him and be like, ‘Hi, Dad!’
Q: Was it a pretty competitive household then?
A: Oh, so competitive. Growing up, we’d be five years old playing hopscotch and my dad would still have to beat us. My mom would be like, ‘Steve, just give them a chance. It’ll be OK if you let them win.’ And Dad would be like, ‘No!’
Q: You’re an avid Oklahoma City Thunder fan, how devastating was it when the Miami Heat won the NBA Finals?
A: I was pretty upset. My friends that were fans said, ‘Go Heat, sorry Brit.’ And I’d be like, ‘Don’t talk to me. We’re not friends for the next week.’ It was rough, but now they’re doing pretty good this season so I’m excited.
Q: Heat or the Oregon Ducks, who’s worse?
A: The Heat.
Q: Durant or Westbrook?
A: Durant. Easy. He got 52 points against the Mavs. And he’s so humble.
Q: Talk about the differences between your hometown of Tulsa, Okla., and Corvallis.
A: If I can even put that into words — it’s completely different. Tulsa, when I left, I thought it was the most boring city ever. All you can do is eat, shop, go to the movies, go to school, go to the gym. And then coming here, you have even less options. And every time I go home, Tulsa’s just growing and expanding. There’s so much more to do. And in Corvallis you have five restaurants, two movie theaters and Freddie’s. It’s different. The weather’s totally different. I’d be so upset about the rain, having to change outfits three different times.
Q: Were you a Sooners fan growing up?
A: No. I don’t like the Sooners. Never have, never been, never will. I’m more of a Pokes [Oklahoma State University], if I had to go for one.
Q: Why did you ultimately come to Oregon State?
A: Since I was 9, I said I was going to college on the West Coast. That has been in my mind. And I always said UCLA, because that was the top team that I heard of when I was 8 years old. But my club coach, he was [associate head coach] Michael Chaplin’s roommate in college, and he told Michael about me and Oregon State. I fell in love with the [coaches]. They were the best people in the world. I knew right then and there that when I got home, I said ‘Mom, I’m going to Oregon State.’ And then I came out on my official [visit], I fell in love with the campus and the trees and everything.
Q: The visit was over summer though, when it was perfect weather?
A: They didn’t tell me about the rain. I’m glad they didn’t, because. . .
Q: What is your favorite moment so far at OSU?
A: I’d say winning Pac-10 Championships my freshman year. That was probably the most unforgettable moment I will ever had. We just hit routine after routine after routine, and weren’t focused about on any of the other scores or other teams, or where they were. Hearing that all we had to do was hit on floor lineup and we would win Pac-10s, I never imagined that. We beat Stanford and UCLA. It was just the greatest feeling in the world.
Q: Of the four events in gymnastics, what is your favorite to do?
A: I love floor. Floor is my favorite because I love dancing. And my floor music is “Lion King” this year and I love “Lion King.”
Q: You’re stranded on a desert island and you get to take two teammates with you, who do you choose and why?
A: I’ll take Cerise Witherby because everything will be funny with her so I won’t be bored. And Hailey Gaspar. When we’re all together — it would be a fun time being stranded on that desert with those two.
Q: Any of you three have survival skills?
A: Oh, we’ll make it work. We’ll have to.
Q: Who’s the funniest gymnast on the team?
A: Again, either Cerise or Hailey. Everything they say or something that they do, I will just bust up laughing. I love them, they’re hilarious.
Q: Favorite OSU sport to attend?
A: Football and basketball, definitely. Football’s just fun because you have all the fans and you get to support your other friends out there. And basketball is in the family, so I totally understand the game of basketball. Plus it’s an indoor sport, so I don’t get wet.