Carla Harris got a phone call this week from the first player she ever helped earn a basketball scholarship, Chanel Roberts.
Roberts expressed her gratitude to Harris, who has helped numerous more Norland girls’ basketball players earn careers in and out of basketball for nearly two decades.
“Chanel was my first signee to Virgina Union,” Harris said. “I still remember making that highlight tape of her and sending it out to colleges and praying that it would turn into something for her. That’s what it’s all about for me.”
Roberts was one of many former players that have reached out to Harris by phone or social media this week after she picked up her 400th career coaching victory Monday at Edison.
Harris, in her 18th year coaching the Vikings, was honored for that victory Wednesday night prior to their district game against Northwestern. Longtime assistant coach Kent Forbes introduced Harris to the crowd pregame, and he and fellow longtime assistant coach Doneal Ford presented her with a plaque commemorating the milestone.
Counting Wednesday’s win over the Bulls, Harris has compiled a 401-113 record during her career coaching her alma mater. Harris graduated from Norland in 1989 and went on to play at the University of Miami for former coach Ferne Labati.
Harris became the Vikings coach after graduating from UM in 2003 and led the Vikings to a pair of state championships and six more state final four appearances.
Norland is 4-1 so far this season, and entered the season as one of the top contenders to return to Lakeland in Class 6A. The Vikings feature a solid frontcourt led by senior forwards Brienne Williams, Chrystal Pressley, Ajayla Rotan and junior Geraldine Seide. They complement the talented backcourt of senior Tia Bailey and junior Edreana Jackson.