Ocean View High School is a place of contrast and combination. Placed directly in between some of the area’s most well known high schools, the youngest of those surrounding high schools, and forged by necessity.
Ever since 1976, the year OVHS was founded, there have been few constants, whether it was in its ever changing appearance, academics, faculty, or athletics. Despite the inconsistent qualities in the school, there has been one thing that has held fast and strong for the past 35 years, and that thing is Basketball.
Courage, sacrifice, loyalty, among other qualities have always been key principals in Ocean View’s repertoire, and those requirements translated to not only success on the court, but in life. There is an instant bond forged by anyone who plays basketball, a spontaneous niche that they fit into, no matter the background or story, and that bond is extended whenever their peers cheer them on during games. Every student that has ever put on a jersey at Ocean View will agree that basketball, despite its arduous requirements, has changed them for the better.
But there is something much more subtle about Ocean View Basketball that makes it so special. Perhaps it is the sense of community that unites the school, perhaps the excitement involved in watching a CIF Game year after year, or maybe it is just being able to catch a glimpse of a future NBA player, whether in a high prestige tournament, or even in a Golden West League game.
That subtlety is, of course, the viewer’s opinion, but everyone that has ever been involved in the program lends those subtle moments of excitement, emotion, love, from one man. The unwavering presence of Coach Jim Harris.
It is almost too simple to sum up his accomplishments in his 19 league titles, 3 CIF-SS titles, a 655-265 career record, and widely respected as one of the most prestigious coaches in all of Southern California, in any sport, because Coach Harris was more than just a basketball coach, he was a mentor, a teacher, someone to believe in you, and someone to simply talk to.
Coach Harris cannot be described by one memory, but by the memories of many. His words and compassion have touched thousands of lives, whether they were one of his close friends, one of his players, or a student passing by in the hallway, Coach Harris made a tangible impact on their life.
That impact may have been asking how your day was going, giving you advice on school work, or maybe even a high five as he passed you. Those delicate moments meant a lot, to many, including myself.
Coach was the architect of a dream, to not only change good players into great players, but to make good men into great men.
“All architects want to live beyond their deaths.” -Phillip Johnson
Coach Harris will live beyond his death, that is no speculation.