Arizona volleyball player's honesty loses team the game, but wins the respect of her family, peers
PHOENIX - Athletes and coaches are well known for arguing with referees over calls, but what would you do if you knew the ref blew a call in your favor?
Would you say anything, or celebrate the win? Well, a Mountain Pointe High School grad is proving honesty and integrity always win.
MiMi Harris just graduated from high school in Phoenix, and now she's throwing out the first pitch at a Diamondbacks' game, a reward for a decision many would not have made.
The star volleyball player was playing in a tournament with her club team when the final point came down to a bad call. Her team won, but Harris knew they shouldn’t have.
The ball fell in, not out.
"They were celebrating full of joy and everything …" Harris said while knowing this wasn't a legit win.
She made an award-winning choice next, one that earned her a Better Business Bureau Ethics College Scholarship.
She told the ref the ball actually fell in. Her team lost.
"I feel like it wouldn’t sit right with me. We shouldn’t have won that game because of a bad call and if I was the other team, I would be really hurt that we had the game taken away because of a bad call, but really should have won it. I was looking at both perspectives when I went up to the ref," she said.
Her mom, Bre Harris, is a former college volleyball player herself and saw that the ref's call was wrong too and wondered what her daughter would do.
"She went with her gut and her gut told her to do the right thing. I told her when you do the right thing, you never lose," her mother said.
Harris is now headed to Alabama State on a volleyball scholarship. She never regretted her choice to tell the ref and said eventually her teammates were supportive.
"They were sad about the loss and upset, but after we talked about it, they appreciated the fact I was honest about it," Harris said.
"When I see that she’s making the call and decision based on something that defines her character, it helps me realize she’s going to be OK in life because she’s guided by these principles now as a 17-year-old," her mother said.
Harris also donated hundreds of hours to charity throughout high school and donated hundreds of jeans to girls in need last year.