Malik Harris is the head athletic trainer with the Vereen Center and works with Turner County High School to take care of the athletes. Harris played basketball and ran track in high school, but had a hard time staying on the field, so he went to college in Maryland to be an athletic trainer. After finishing college at Frostburg State University, he began work with the Vereen Center and worked his way up to being head athletic trainer with the school after finding out about it from his college preceptor, who used to do work with them before working at the University where Harris went.
Harris decided that he wanted to become an athletic trainer because of his years running track in high school.
“I was always somewhere on the sidelines, injured or working (my) way back from injuries,” Harris said.
Harris said it was frustrating to not be able to participate in the sport that he was good at. He enjoys being able to help these athletes get off the sidelines and back to playing the sports that they love.
Harris has been working with the Vereen Center for a little under a year now, and wants to continue to gain experience with them. He has thoroughly enjoyed how well set up the center is and would also like to continue to gain experience at Turner County High while going back to school to pursue a master’s degree in exercise science at the University of North Georgia.
After serving as an athletic trainer, Harris would like to head back to Maryland to try his hand as a strength and conditioning specialist, but his eventual goal is to be a college professor at his alma mater, Frostburg State, and teach in the athletic training department. He loved attending Frostburg State, so being able to go back and teach there is something that he truly wants to do.
Harris’s other skills have flourished in his time at the Vereen Center, including his abilities to think critically and make fast decisions for the betterment of the athletes. Because he is the one the athletes rely on, there is no one above him making the overall decisions. Harris said that he struggled with decision-making in critical situations in the past, so being able to sharpen those skills will help him with the rest of his career.
Harris works with Turner County Sunday through Friday, working with the teams throughout the day to prevent injuries or to help the athletes come back from the various injuries that they are rehabbing. Harris works with the football team the most while they are in season, but athletes dealing with injuries from any sport can come to him at different times during the day to rehab their injuries.
When he is not at the Vereen Center or working with Turner County High School, Harris enjoys being outside and actively playing all sorts of sports, such as basketball or Ultimate Frisbee, to stay in shape. Any element of physical activity is enjoyable to him, but he also loves to work out at the gym in order to make sure that he stays healthy for the rest of his life.