Gonzaga forward Elias Harris went through a sophomore slump and knew he had to get in better shape heading into this season. Now the German national is no longer eating hot dogs.
Telling The Spokesman-Review he eliminated his "American eating habits" by cutting out hamburgers, hot dogs and sugary sodas from his diet, Harris lost weight and is gaining confidence.
The Bulldogs’ junior forward dropped 11 pounds over the summer. He enters this season at 234 pounds, down from the 245 he carried as a sophomore. It’s one of several measures Harris has taken to try to bounce back from a difficult sophomore season.
"This might sound stupid to some people but I was on a diet," Harris said. "I was just too chubby, too heavy. I lost a bunch of body fat, some weight. I was running a lot so I’m in way better shape."
"Being lighter contributes to my game because I’m a player that uses quickness and speed and balance," he said. "I feel bouncier and quicker with my moves. I didn’t lose my strength.
"For me, that’s a perfect combination."
Harris is a WCC player of the year candidate and is an NBA prospect even at 6-foot-7 because of his athleticism. Harris' dedication to getting in shape is great news for coach Mark Few, who at WCC media day last month raved about the offseason Harris had.
Harris decided to remain at Gonzaga rather than train with the German national team in part because he was still recovering from shoulder and Achilles injuries. But even in a substandard year, he averaged 12.4 points and 6 rebounds as a sophomore and came on strong later in the season.