Cortez-Harvey tearing it up at ECC
St. Edward graduate Kelvin Cortez-Harvey is wearing out the scorebook this season for the Elgin Community College men's basketball team.
Cortez-Harvey leads the team in scoring at 23.4 points per game in 27 games played thus far. The 5-10 sophomore guard is shooting .502 from the field, .353 from the 3-point line and .728 from the free-throw line.
His exploits this season include a pair of eye-opening scoring efforts. He poured in 49 points in ECC's 114-86 win over the Rockford University junior varsity team in a game where he shot 22-for-33 from the field.
Cortez-Harvey also pumped in 46 points in an 86-80 win over South Suburban where he shot 15-for-19 from the field and 5 of 8 from the 3-point stripe, not to mention heading to the free-throw line 17 times (11 makes).
In a four-game stretch earlier this year, Cortez-Harvey, whose previous career high in high school was 44 points against Chicago Christian, hit for games of 31, 32, 22 and 32 points -- all ECC wins.
"I would say I have improved the most at being a leader more and distributing the ball more," he said.
About the distribution aspect: In addition to scoring more than 20 points a game, Cortez-Harvey also is averaging a team-high 5.8 assists per game against only 1.8 turnovers. And let's not forget about the 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game.
Cortez-Harvey said the leadership aspect is something he's put quite a bit of work into. "It's been kind of a work in progress," he said. "I am trying to be more of a vocal leader this year. The coaches have stressed it. I usually lead by example, but this year they needed more of the vocal part."
When it comes to finding the hoop, Cortez-Harvey attributes that to coach Reed Nosbisch's system and his teammates. "It's the system we have at ECC," he said. "We play up and down the court and we like to score in transition. That complements my playing style. It's also my teammates getting me the ball in good position. I like the fast-moving style."
Cortez-Harvey said the 46-point effort and win against South Suburban was particularly satisfying.
"It was a great feeling," he said. "We lost to them by 33 last year, but for us to beat them this year was great. I know Reed was excited about that."
Cortez-Harvey also is having a blast playing for Nosbisch. "I love playing for Reed," he said. "He's the type of guy who lets you play. He has a very loose leash on players. He lets you do what you are capable of doing. He's very fun and I'm very relaxed playing for him. He's similar to my high school coach (PJ White), so it was pretty easy transition here."
ECC was 18-10 overall to start the week. "I like how we have a good group of guys that are very motivated," Cortez-Harvey said. "This team is very close. We all are good friends off the court. I like how we have battled through adversity this year. We've been down several times by 15-plus at halftime and have come back to win. It shows the mental stability we have on this team. Right now, we're focusing on playing in conference and then once we get into the region tournament it's one game at a time. The goal always is to make it as far as we can, and we still have a lot more to do."
Cortez-Harvey, a South Elgin resident, is majoring in accounting at ECC. As far as his future on the hardwood, Cortez-Harvey said he's had discussions with some NCAA Division II and NAIA four-year schools.
Pryor at Western Illinois: Burlington Central alum Sam Pryor is a 6-0 redshirt junior guard on the Western Illinois University basketball team. To start the week, Pryor is averaging 8.0 point per game and is leading the team in 3-point shooting. Pryor has made a team-high 44 threes and is shooting a team-best .364 from the 3-point line.
Pryor scored a season-high 16 points and shot 4-for-8 from the 3-point line in a recent game against North Dakota State. She also had 8 points and hit 1 three-pointer against Purdue-Fort Wayne.
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