Summer 2022

Sixers' Tobias Harris aims to 'always bring Christ out in my life' even amid NBA highs & lows

Tobias Harris has experienced many of the emotions a postseason series can stir up in the Philadelphia 76ers’ first five games against the Miami Heat this round. He scored 48 points on 57.1% shooting in Games 1 and 2, yet his team lost both by double figures with MVP runner-up Joel Embiid sidelined.

Then Harris managed just 22 points in Philadelphia’s two home games, but the Sixers evened the series 2-2, and he nearly notched a triple-double in Game 3 (nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists). But a 35-point loss in Game 5 has Harris and his teammates facing elimination Thursday night. Just one more victory at home, though, sets up a winner-move-on Game 7.

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As an 11-year NBA veteran, Harris is used to the stresses a season brings and knows how easy it can be to let what’s happening on the court impact how he feels off it.

“I always try to make sure that the workspace that I’m in — the NBA, there’s highs and lows — but I always make sure that I never let the highs and lows truly determine my true happiness as a person,” Harris said during a Deeper Worship Intensive “Team Edition” class hosted by pastor and gospel singer William McDowell, as recently reported by The Christian Post.

The 29-year-old regularly references his faith on social media and is “just walking in the path the Lord has laid out for me,” according to his Twitter bio. He averaged 17.2 points during the 2021-22 regular season while pulling down 6.8 rebounds per game and matching a career high with 3.5 assists per game. This was the fifth season in a row Harris has averaged more than 17 points per game, and he logged a career-high 73 starts.

Harris gave thanks to God after a trade sent him from the Los Angeles Clippers to Philadelphia midway through the 2018-19 season. He has also praised the Lord on national TV after big games.

In his conversation with McDowell, Harris hinted at a possible future job when his basketball career is over and explained that his main priority is looking for opportunities to highlight Christ.

“For me, I look at it like if I’m playing basketball at the NBA or if I’m a principal at a school, which is something I would love to do when my career is over, I’m going to find ways to always bring Christ out in my life,” he said.

Though Harris is a key player on a team with championship aspirations and has established himself as one of the better wings in the league, he wants to be known first and foremost as a Christian. The best way to make that happen, he believes, is by demonstrating God’s love to everyone he encounters.

“Any person I meet, I try to embrace them and show them love so that they know I’m a Christian,” he told Razz and Jazz Sports in 2015. “Jesus Christ was a loving man and as Christians, we have to try to enable our lives after Jesus Christ.”

Game 6 of the Sixers-Heat series tips off in Philadelphia at 7 p.m. ET Thursday. If Philly wins, Game 7 would be in Miami at an undetermined time Sunday.

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