Just eight days after stepping down as head boys’ basketball coach at the newly formed Advanced Prep International (Dallas), Ray Forsett is set to patrol the sidelines once again for the Bulldogs today at 5 p.m. (ESPNU) when they face off against Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kan.) in the Marshall County Hoopfest.
“I needed to take care of some family issues and decided to step down,” Forsett said. “It was a lot and it was hard because the team wasn’t play to its potential at the time. But the guys had a team meeting and said they needed me back. I thought and prayed about it and then I saw that we dropped from No. 4 to being unranked after just one loss and that was crazy. I didn’t want to hurt my kids so I regrouped and decided to come back.”
Forsett made the announcement that he was stepping down exclusively to USA Today High School Sports after the Bulldogs’ first loss of the season to SATCH Academy (Houston), 82-78, on Nov. 25.
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Bulldogs point Trevon Duval, the top ranked point guard in the ESPN 60 for 2017, said that he and center Nysier Brooks called a team meeting earlier this week that centered on one goal.
“We knew we had to get Coach Ray back,” said Duval, who transferred to API from St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) mainly to play under Forsett. “He had things going on, but we weren’t making it easy on him either. We weren’t playing hard, we were messing around, we weren’t listening, we were doing our own thing and we knew that we weren’t gonna win that way. We told him we wanted to work hard and get ourselves together and do whatever it took. He knew we needed him to come back. I’m just glad to have him back.”
The Bulldogs went 2-0 under Brandon Lewis, Forsett’s assistant who was took over as head coach in Forsett’s absence. Lewis will resume his assistant role.
“Coach B. Lew did a great job, but, honestly, that made us really realize what we could be with Coach Ray,” Duval said. “When he wasn’t there we really locked in and refocused and did all the things that he tells us to do every day and we dominated. A lot of people don’t know that Coach Ray sacrifices a lot for us and all we need to do is listen and go hard. I think with this being a TV game it’s the perfect situation to show the country what we’re made of and prove that we’re the best team in the country.”
Forsett said the brief time away gave him a chance to tend to his family and reenergize for a long season.
“I’ve got my head clear now,” Forsett said. “I’m feeling a lot better about everything. The guys said all the right things and I believe they’re ready to work. We’re gonna fight to get back on top.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY