By: Chris Behler
The Xavier women’s basketball program has had many great players over the years. Ta’Shia Phillips and Amber Harris, graduates of the 2011 class, have perhaps shone the brightest among Xavier women’s basketball players in recent memory.
While at Xavier, Phillips was a two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, 2008 Rookie of the Year, 2009 A-10 Player of the Year and was selected in 2010 and 2011 as the State Farm Honorable Mention All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Additionally, in 2009, 2010 and 2011, she was selected for the All-Atlantic 10 First Team.
After a Xavier career full of endless success, Phillips went on to be drafted as the eighth overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Atlanta Dream and was then traded to Washington Mystics.
Currently, she is in her second season in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and is averaging 1.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 0.1 APG.
Not to be outdone, Amber Harris also left her mark on the Xavier Basketball Program in her four years as a student-athlete. In 2007, Harris was named the A-10 Rookie of the Year and received A-10 First Team Honors for not only the ’07 season, but also for the next three seasons. She also received the A-10 Player of the Year award and a State Farm All-American Selection in 2010 and 2011.
Harris went on to be drafted as the fourth overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. Like Phillips, Harris has played a minimal role thus far in her WNBA career (0.8 PPG, 0.8 RPG and 0.0 APG), but has a promising future ahead of her.
The phrase “anything you can do, I can do better” certainly applies to Phillips’ and Harris’ careers. It started with Phillips shattering Harris’ single-season rebounding record of 303 the following year. From then, it was award given and award matched time and time again.
Harris’ 12 Rookie of the Week selections in 2006-07 were the most of any other A-10 student athlete until Phillips came into the picture and matched this record in 2007-08.
Small competitions like these made Harris and Phillips fun to watch during their time at Xavier. For Phillips and Harris, these early triumphs were just the beginning of two long and prosperous careers in the WNBA.