Sharman White is the head boys’ basketball coach at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) where he won six consecutive Class AAAAA state titles. That dominance prompted White’s former McDonald’s All-American forward Tony Parker, now a junior at UCLA, to give White the nickname “Elvis. Because he’s the greatest.” White has agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his team to his methods to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
‘Oh Say Can You See’
As Independence Day marks a significant time in American history, it has become even more symbolic to me per my experience last month with USA Basketball. I was afforded an experience of a lifetime by being selected to be a part of phenomenal organization led by Jim Tooley, Sean Ford, and B.J. Johnson.
I was able to serve this great country of ours by being an assistant coach for the USA U16 team under the direction of head coach Don Showalter. Also, I had a chance to work with former Arizona Wildcat and national champion, Miles Simon who was an assistant on staff.
This opportunity really epitomized ‘Process’.
It began with the October training camp where we had over 40 of the top players from across the country for three days of intense skill work and competition. From there, the next group of young men selected to return in May would make up the pool of players from which the U16 team would be finalized.
To be able to watch players compete for a spot on USA Basketball and to ultimately represent their country, was a display of heart, character, and hard work. We could only choose twelve players, but I am under the impression that any of those young men would have diligently and proudly represented our country as it was evident in how challenging it was as a staff to narrow down the list.
Once we selected the final team and conducted a few practices, it was on to Argentina where it happened to be in the middle of winter but not a better place to be for what we were there for, which was to bring home the gold medal and the FIBA Americas U16 championship. With an outstanding group of young men, coaching staff, and support staff we met our goal. Feel free to go to www.usab.com to relive these young men and their ‘golden’ run in Argentina as well as game recaps, pictures, and stories within the game.
For me personally, I know quite a few people who serve our country via armed forces and to know that they risk their lives daily for my freedom makes this experience that more relevant for me. I had a chance to serve my country from the sidelines and there hasn’t been too many other gratifying moments for me in the coaching arena than to have that gold medal placed around your neck and hear the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ being played.
“Championship teams TOTALLY and 100% invest in the coaching, the system, and the mission.”
Don’t forget to follow Coach Sharman White on Twitter: @CoachSWhite