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Chatting with UNC Wilmington coach Adell Harris

Oct 16, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

Adell Harris is in her first year coaching the Seahawks, coming to Wilmington from Tusculum College. She is the 10th head coach in UNCW history and welcomes back three starters from a team that advanced to postseason play for the second straight year.

A word to describe your team.

New.

Talk about the transition, which includes your new staff (Ross Jolly, Kim Tingley and Richard Moore).

My transition is a lot easier than the kids’. They’re young adults. We have 10 kids on scholarship; eight of them have had two or three or four collegiate coaches. I’m an adult; I’m prepared for transition. These guys have been hit with so much change. I try to be empathetic to them; I try to be patient. I’m just trying to get them to understand I want them to have a special career.

One of the newcomers is 5-4 Kelva Atkins, who averaged 20.7 ppg at Columbia State Junior College. What will she bring?

I watched Kelva play when I was at Tusculum College. She played at a junior college league in the East Tennessee area. I knew we couldn’t get her at Tusculum, but when I got here, she was a kid I wanted to reach out to and see if she had any interest. She’s from Stem, N.C., so for her parents it’s about an hour and a half drive. She needs to learn to work at this level. 

You open against West Virginia, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Wow!

There’s no easy at UNC Wilmington. It’s not going to get easy. That’s good. We’re going to be tested and exposed. I want to know who I am before we get into battle in the conference. In January and February, we’ll be a better team because of our challenges.

Something fun you did during the offseason.

I went to see Justin Bieber at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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