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Fran Harris: Well Behaved & Making History

<em>Photo provided by Fran Harris & NBA Communications.</em>
Photo provided by Fran Harris & NBA Communications.

Have you ever talked to someone that has the ability to make you feel inadequate? As if all that you are doing in life is minuscule compared to theirs?

That is similar to what I felt after talking to Fran Harris.

In a world today, that is somewhat short on role models for adolescents and young women in particular, Fran Harris is as dynamite as they come.


You do know who Fran Harris is right? She is simply a winner in every aspect of life. She has won on the basketball court, in the boardroom, on television, and just in this silly game that we call life.

Fran is probably most known for her exploits on the basketball court. She has enjoyed championships in high school, college, and in the WNBA.

She was UConn and Tennessee before UConn and Tennessee existed.

Ms. Harris was the leading scorer and captain on the first undefeated NCAA Division 1 team, the Texas Longhorns. Texas finished the 1985-1986 season at 34-0. Along with Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil and Annette Smith-Knight, she led Texas past the University of Southern California and Cheryl Miller to claim UT's only National Championship.

It was this experience that led her to her life path.

After that historic run at the national title everyone wanted a piece of the champion. She turned the desire for schools, colleges, athletes, and businesses to have her talk about her experience as a high profile athlete and her championship pedigree into a media empire that is still growing. She has hosted camps, coached at every level, did sports commentary, and had various spots on television. It is her experience at UT that shaped the person that she is.

When asked about her senior season at University of Texas, Fran is very honest.

"It was very difficult," she said. "One of the most difficult things that I have ever done. It was an amazing run. The most rewarding part was going to war every day with my team and family."

As one of the first generations in the U.S. to benefit from an entire childhood under Title IX, her Texas Longhorns made people stand up and take notice. It was her team's success that allowed the Tennessee's and UConn's to play in front of packed houses and national television audiences.

She still keeps on top of the women's college basketball scene. She pulls for her alma mater and thinks they are hungry enough this year to make a run. Her picks this year include Connecticut, Stanford, Tennessee and Baylor.

Her favorite this year is UConn in part because of the way they do things. Another part of it is due to UConn coach Geno Auriemma and the way he operates his program.

"They are not a great women's basketball team, they are just a great basketball team in general," Harris said. "They compete hard."

Her advice to the program that has passed her undefeated record 4 times and is currently on an 87 game winning streak: "Cherish the moment. Enjoy that you are making history. Cherish the relationships that you have with your teammates. Enjoy the entire experience."

To this day Fran still talks and texts with her teammates, 25 years later.

Yet, as much success that Fran has had there has also been some setbacks. Her biggest disappointment was only making the 1988 Olympic squad as an alternate.

"I was disillusioned and bitter toward the sport," she said. "After that negative experience, I broke up with basketball but I was still in love with it. It was like any relationship."

Fran spent 7 ½ years away from the sport. She coached, she spoke, and she tried to get over her heartbreak and bitterness toward the game. Fran then took her own advice and stopped making excuses - she realized that the defeats make the victories that much sweeter.

That realization could not have come any sooner. It was just at this time that the WNBA was forming and she earned a spot on the 1997 Houston Comets.

The 1997 team wasn't expected to do much. But after battling league favorites New York, Charlotte, and Phoenix, they won the inaugural WNBA championship lead by Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson, and Sheryl Swoopes. She spent her next season on the Utah Starzz before she decided to hang up her sneakers on her own terms.

Basketball was nice for her but it didn't define her existence. She had a life before basketball and she would have one after.

"I didn't start playing until I was 15, so I had an appreciation for my own genius and my own brilliance, outside of the game, before I ever picked up a basketball."

Today Fran Harris is one of 20 finalists for Good Morning America's Advice Guru. She has the experience, drive, desire, and will to change the lives of people that need it. Her philosophy as America's ‘No Excuses' coach is refreshing to say the least. She has the ability to affect lives with her direct, no nonsense approach to everyday problems of love, life and relationships.

She is not just an advice coach - she has a wide wealth of experience as an elite athlete, a coach, a teacher, a student, an entrepreneur, an employer, and a host. She can relate to audiences because she has been there and is truly coming from a good place to help individuals be complete people.

You can help Fran Harris help others by going to and listen to her speak and offer advice with the passion, desire and skill of a voice that America needs to hear. If you like what you hear then click ‘like' to ensure that she has the opportunity to continue.

Fran Harris' favorite quote is by Laurel Urlich, which states, ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history.' Spend 5 minutes talking to her and you can tell that she will dismantle this notion quickly. All Fran Harris has done is make history and I am sure she will continue to do so.