ALL-USA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM COACH OF THE YEAR: Sharman White, Miller Grove, Lithonia, Ga.
Why him? Coached his team to a state-record sixth consecutive title. His team rallied after the preseason death of freshman Terrell “Too Tall” Coleman, who collapsed during an all-star game. White has been the basketball coach and athletic director at Miller Grove since the school opened in 2005.
Coaching start: I began coaching when I was growing up in the neighborhood. My career ended a little short with injuries, but when that stopped my passion for basketball didn’t. I started out as a volunteer coach and it grew from that.
Dealing with Coleman’s death: That was uncharted water for me as a coach. Our guys were devastated by his death. Our family atmosphere was alive, and it was tested. We had to come together. Adversity shows how weak or strong you are. Our purpose in winning the championship this year was a little bit different than normal. We couldn’t bring Terrell back, but being able to win that way is a small token to give back to the family. We had No. 24 on our warm-ups, and every game there was a chair on the bench with his jersey attached. We never forgot.
Favorite musician: Stevie Wonder
Go-to dance move: The Cabbage Patch
Best recent read: Tony Dungy’s book, “Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life.”It was one of the best books on leadership, not just for coaching but as a mentor and a model. He has an outstanding way of showing his character.
A winning tradition: At Miller Grove, I set the culture from day one, and all the kids bought into it. We became a powerhouse in a matter of years. We’ve had great players, like Stephen Hill (now a receiver with the New York Jets) and Tony Parker (a sophomore forward at UCLA). We lost all those guys, but the expectations are still there. Our older guys are always around during spring break and they talk to the current players.