Tori Harvey signs with GNTC

Among those on hand at Heritage High School on Thursday to see senior Tori Harvey sign on to play basketball for the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats were parents Rich and Roxanne Harvey, Georgia Northwestern head coach David Stephenson and Heritage head coach Eddie Bryant. (Messenger photo/Scott Herpst)

Basketball teams have players that can score, others than can rebound and others that handle the ball.

Heritage High School had Tori Harvey, who could do all three.

Not only that, but Harvey has also proven over the past four seasons that she’s one of the toughest players in all of northwest Georgia.

And on Thursday, Harvey made the decision to take all of those attributes to Georgia Northwestern.

The 5-foot-5 senior guard helped the Lady Generals to a program-best 25-4 record this past season and finished her four years at Heritage with over 800 career points, over 400 career rebounds, over 300 career assists and over 300 career steals.

“I’ve played basketball all my life, but I never thought about playing at the college level until I found out about this opportunity,” said Harvey, who recently attended an open gym workout with the Lady Bobcats. “Then I got really excited about it. I’m really happy.”

Harvey signed her papers during a ceremony attended by a large contingent of coaches, classmates and family members in the school’s theater.

“(Georgia Northwestern) is really laid back and I really feel comfortable with all the girls,” she explained. “They have all been so welcoming. I think my skill level will help the team a lot.”

One of Harvey’s best games of the season came in a Region 6-AAAA tournament semifinal win over Gilmer, in which she scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and collected six steals to put the Lady Generals into the finals.

“She is probably one of the toughest players I’ve ever coached, mentally and physically,” said Lady Generals’ head coach Eddie Bryant, himself a former college coach at Chattanooga State. “She’s going to give you 120 percent every time she steps on the floor. I really think (Georgia Northwestern) is getting a steal. She had some other stuff on the table, but I think she wanted to stay closer to home.

“She really a doggone good shooter and she can get the ball to bucket. Once she’s there, she’s strong enough to finish.”

Lady Bobcats’ head coach David Stephenson said signing Harvey was a welcome surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting to get Tori, but it’s a huge pick-up for us,” he said. “She comes from a successful, proven program. She can score, handle the ball and rebound, and on top of that, she’s in the top 10 percent of her class. She’s a good kid, who already knows a lot of our signees already. I think she’ll be a great fit for our program.

“She was at our open gym the other night and everything she was asked to do, she did. It was just a great time. We’re super excited to get her.”

Harvey said she would bring toughness and vocal leadership the team.

“I’m really vocal and really tough on the court,” she said. “If I see someone going into take a shot, I’ll jump in and take a charge to help my team out. My teammates usually get really pumped up when I do that, so I’ve sort of been the energy for every team I’ve been on.

Harvey said she is thinking about studying psychology in college.