Ben Rozak

Since she was in third grade, Megan Harrison has played basketball.

“Basketball is my life and I don’t know what I’m going to do without it when I graduate,” she says.

Before moving to Dripping Springs, Texas, Harrison lived in Cambria with her family and played soccer because girls were not allowed to play on a basketball team until fifth grade.

She would join her first basketball team, which was coached by her father, after moving.

In Texas, Harrison says, she knew she loved basketball as soon as she began playing, and continued through high school until she was recruited to play for Cal Poly.

“I had a feeling when I came here that it just fit for me,” Harrison says of her first experience at Cal Poly.

She felt right. Today, the junior forward leads the Mustangs in scoring and rebounding, with averages of 13.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

While ranking third in the Big West Conference in scoring, and also in its top 10 in rebounding and free-throw percentage, Harrison helped Cal Poly (8-12, 5-2 Big West) to its best Big West start ever, and its best conference beginning in 28 years.

On Nov. 29, 2007, against San Diego State, she scored 34 points, the most ever in a single game by a Mustang since the program moved to Division I 15 years ago.

The 2006-07 All-Big West Second Team selection initially chose to attend Cal Poly because she loved its location, felt a connection with the coaches and team, and was interested in the school’s equine program.

Harrison, an animal science major, plans to attend veterinary school when she has completed her education at Cal Poly.

At 6-foot-1, Harrison can play either forward position, as well as center.

Maturity and resiliency have been key to Harrison’s success after several injuries, said Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh.

“She is one of those players who wants to be the very best that she can be,” Mimnaugh says. “She works as hard as any of the competitors that I’ve ever coached.”

Harrison trains with the team as well as on her own during the summer. She attributes her success in athletics to her competitive nature as an individual, and her success in college basketball to her coaches.

She feels they have helped her mentally to overcome her innate pursuit of perfection and have improved her skills through film study and persistent practice.

“I think I’ve learned from my coaches,” Harrison says. “I’ve become smarter as a basketball player and my skill has definitely improved.”

Harrison attributes her family, and in particular her parents, as her strongest influence in basketball because of their support. They even moved from Texas to San Luis Obispo, she says, to be closer to her and to be able to watch her play.

“They’re always here to support me,” Harrison says.

Despite all her individual accomplishments, Harrison says her goal is to help the Mustangs become conference champions and make the NCAA Tournament.

“Personally, I just want to keep being a leader and help them any way they need me to,” Harrison explains.

Mimnaugh said she hopes the “humble” Harrison can achieve All-Big West First Team honors this year.

“Cal Poly is fortunate to have this student athlete,” Mimnaugh says. “She is what every coach would want their daughter to be like, and player to be like.”

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