Spring 2021 Magazine

Chinese Basketball Association coach Korey Harris leans on God during coronavirus outbreak

In late January, Korey Harris had a decision to make. He was back in the United States during a break in the schedule for the Chinese Basketball Association, where he serves as an assistant coach for the Beijing Royal Fighters under former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury. Before the break was over, the CBA told players and staff they did not need to return and suspended play on Feb. 1 due to the spread of the coronavirus.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

After praying about it, Harris decided to fly back to Beijing anyway. He initially returned to the hotel where the team stays during the season, and is now in isolation at the Royal Fighters’ practice facility.

“The peace of God just kind of came over me and I just felt like, ‘OK, I don’t know why I feel like I need to go back, but this is what I’m feeling,” he said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “And so I made the decision to come back.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:

Harris, who has been in China since August 2018, was hired onto Marbury’s staff in September. It is his first position on a professional coaching staff. He played college basketball at the JUCO, NCCAA and NCAA levels, and served as a player development coach before moving to China.

As the coronavirus spread across the country and eventually the world, Harris leaned on his relationship with Christ.

“I think the biggest thing for me is just remembering what He’s already brought me through,” he said. “I’m a big proponent of listening to your gut. I think your gut is God’s hiding place.”

The CBA was hoping to resume its season on April 15 but delayed its restart on Wednesday, according to multiple sources, after reportedly failing to get approval from the Chinese government.

One thing has not changed for Harris with all of the uncertainty caused by the epidemic.

“Through this trying time, [God’s] never led me astray,” he said.

RELATED STORIES:
Basketball star Jeremy Lin donates money to fight coronavirus outbreak, cites Scripture
Mother of T-Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns in medically-induced coma with coronavirus
NEW PODCAST: Aaron Craft – Pro Basketball Player in Italy
NBA, NHL players/owners cover lost wages for arena workers amid suspended seasons