Steve Harris, who came from Blue Springs, Missouri to The University of Tulsa in 1981 and became an All-America basketball player for the Golden Hurricane, passed away last week from a long illness.
He lived in Broken Arrow with his wife Harriet, daughter Brittany and son Justin.
Nicknamed “Silk” by the late KJRH sports director Jerry Webber, Harris played four years and totaled 2,272 points, 428 rebounds, 243 assists and 271 steals in 122 career games for the Hurricane. He was a “silky” smooth shooter, making 55-percent of his field goals and 85-percent of his free throws, and ended his career as the school’s all-time scoring leader.
TU issued a statement, saying, “We are heartbroken by the news of Steve ‘Silk’ Harris’ passing. Steve was soft-spoken and a true gentleman, not to mention a tremendous basketball player who helped put Tulsa basketball in the national spotlight in the early 1980s. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve’s wife Harriet, children Brittany and Justin and the entire Harris family.”
Harris was a second-team All-America selection by the United Press International and a third-team performer by the Basketball Times as a senior. He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors three times and led Tulsa in scoring his final three seasons, while also leading Tulsa to three NCAA tournament appearances.
Harris scored in double figures in 109 of 122 games, and scored over 20 points in 53 games and more than 30 points nine times. He was voted as the MVC Newcomer of the Year in the 1981-82 season, and in 1985 was a first round draft choice of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
Harris’ Tulsa jersey #20 is retired and he was inducted into The University of Tulsa’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. He was 52.