March 14, 2013
By Natalie Summa, UConn '15
“We found this beekeeper and he wanted some help, so I basically stood there, got stung, and made a couple bucks.” Not an average topic of conversation, certainly, but even stranger coming from one of the Huskies very own hockey players, junior right-wing Brant Harris.
Most of us can relate in the sense that picking up odd jobs for some extra cash is ordinary, but the type of employment Harris describes is undoubtedly one of the more unique.
According to Harris, he came upon the position when living in New Brunswick for the summer with his brother, which was necessary in order to better focus on his hockey training and create some separation from the social scene. The two were searching for part-time work and came upon a beekeeper in need of help.
Harris described the tasks as being mostly “busy work”, cleaning the hives, etc. There was some excitement at night, however, during the transportation of the hives to the crops for pollination, when the still-awake bees would crawl onto the transporter. “The first night I didn’t really know you had to seal everything up, so I had nineteen stings on my wrists and my ankles. Pretty good eye opener,” laughs Harris.
Along with being an experience that provides Harris with an interesting story to tell, he also commented that he is now using his knowledge for a small business project in a business management class. Being that the project is about bee management, Harris says he sees himself as being “ahead of the curve”. Harris is majoring in resource economics here at the university.
Brant Harris hails from a small town called Estevan in Saskatchewan, Canada, about 15 minutes from the border of North Dakota. He describes it as being a “much different set up”, the flat scenery there being noticeably different than that of the East Coast.
Harris found himself in Connecticut at first playing for the North Connecticut Wings during a summer league. Devin Rousk, one of his coaches there, was at the time also part of the coaching staff for the Huskies, and believed Harris would be a great asset.
The six-foot-one, 200-pound winger has proven to be just that, using his body as an advantage on the ice. “I try to get into the offensive zones and crash bodies, hit guys,” says Harris. The physicality of the sport is something Harris both enjoys and says he was “bred for”, being a hockey player from Saskatchewan.
As the playoffs approach, Harris shares the team mentality, mainly that “when we have our legs and are hardworking, we can pretty much beat any team”. The Huskies already know they can contend with teams like Merrimack (defeated earlier in the season) and number one Quinnipiac (loss of 2-1), and are eager for the upcoming postseason, Harris included.
In addition to contributions made on the ice, Harris has also had to be one to step up and assume a leadership role for his team. He exhibits strong determination, and emulates absolute confidence in the abilities of both himself and his team in such a way that makes him a young man teammates can feel comfortable following. “I try to bring everything I can into the locker room and onto the ice,” says Harris.
UConn is fortunate to have athletes like Brant Harris, dedicated teammates that also demonstrate outstanding character outside of the sports arena as well. The community and fans can look forward to seeing more of both Harris and the Huskies in the upcoming postseason.