American Basketball Player Vanishes in Brazil

A former NCAA college basketball star has vanished in Brazil. Tony Harris, a 36 year old forward, came to Brazil on October 31st to play for Universo Brasilia during the South American Club Championships. However, since the beginning of November, the player hasn’t been seen.

Rede Globo, Brazilian largest TV network, reported on the Harris case during the Saturday (November 10th) edition of its nationwide broadcasted Jornal Nacional. One of the interviewees, Universo Brasilia’s supervisor, reported that the player was acting strangely during the tournament. “He said nonsense things, and cried copiously”, said the supervisor who at one point went up to the player’s room in a hotel to calm him down before Harris vanished.

Last week, after playing just three games for Brasilia, the player left the team and tried to embark on a plane heading to Natal, a city in the Brazilian northeast, but was enabled by authorities because his passport was with the team. He then hopped on a bus to Goiânia (about 130 miles south of Brazil’s capital Brasilia) where he hired a cab to drive him to Salvador, more than 1,000 miles west, on the coast of Bahia state.

However, during a stop by the cab driver to withdraw money on an ATM with Harris’ card, in the city of Bezerra, about 160 miles west of Goiânia, the player vanished leaving his laptop, and credit card behind. Jose Lindomar de Jesus, the cab driver, said that Harris left wearing two t-shirts and a grey pair of sweats. Globo journalists also heard people from the city of Bezerra who spotted the player in the city.

Universo Brasilia, according to Globo’s report, contacted the American Embassy and already sent them Harris’ laptop and passport.

Harris has played in Brazil for three years in Uberlândia and was returning to the country for a couple of games in a new team, Brasilia. Between 2001 and 2004 he was one of Uberlândia’s top scorer recording averages of over 15 points per game. In the 1994/1995 season, according to Latin Basket’s database, Harris played 3 games for the NBA Boston Celtics.

According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, until yesterday, his family hadn’t heard from the Brazilian team yet. Tony will turn 37 next Sunday.

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